Vikings deny Provine, earn playoff spot|[11/5/05]

Published 12:00 am Saturday, November 5, 2005

JACKSON – Provine can join an ever growing list of Warren Central’s opponents who have come close, but walked away empty.

The Rams failed to score twice inside the Vikings’ 10-yard line and WC held on for a defensive-minded 10-6 victory at Hughes Field. The win keeps WC’s hopes of a region championship alive.

With Madison Central’s win over Northwest Rankin, three teams are tied atop the region with one loss each. What convolutes the playoff picture is that Northwest has beaten WC, WC has beaten Madison and Madison has beaten Northwest. If all three teams win next week, a tiebreaker will be used to determine seeding.

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No matter, the Vikings celebrated their state-record 21st straight playoff berth.

&#8220This is what we’ve been working for since we were in the seventh grade,” said WC quarterback Ryan Williams, who passed for 21 yards on two completions.

Williams’ low passing numbers coincided with a running game that started the game with a bang, but ended with a fizzle.

Vic Tyrone ripped off a 65-yard touchdown run on Warren Central’s second play from scrimmage for a quick 7-0 lead.

Anton Taylor scored Provine’s lone touchdown with 4 minutes, 28 seconds to play in the first half, but a botched extra point kept WC ahead 7-6. Eric Richards’ 42-yard field goal inside of a minute to play in the first half gave WC a 4-point cushion.

Neither team threatened until the fourth quarter. With 10:36 left, Provine began a drive at the WC 19 and drove to the 7. Two running plays gained zero yards and two straight passes on fade routes to the left corner of the end zone fell incomplete and WC took over on downs.

The Rams’ defense forced a three-and-out and Provine punt returner Terrance Davis returned Richards’ kick to the WC 7 again.

&#8220That was a situation where we were backed up against our own goal line and were more concerned with the kick than the return,” said WC coach Curtis Brewer, who had kicked away from the Rams earlier in the game. &#8220Usually our coverage team is right there.”

Taylor rushed for three yards to the 4, then was stopped by Tiger Robinson for a 3-yard loss to set up third-and-goal.

&#8220We knew they didn’t have any timeouts left and after I tackled that guy behind the line, I knew they were going to the fade again,” Robinson said.

The Rams obliged, again throwing a fade to the left corner of the end zone, but junior Chris Lacey tipped the pass and Robinson intercepted the ball three yards deep in the end zone. He returned it to the Provine 40 and WC ran the final six seconds off the clock.

&#8220This was an entire defensive effort tonight,” Brewer said. &#8220Tiger had the interception, but another one tipped it. Everyone on the defense stepped up tonight.”

Provine dominated offensively, outgaining the Vikings 333 to 135. Tyrone led all WC rushers with 66 yards on three carries. Taylor rushed 34 times for 172 yards in a losing effort.

The Vikings will conclude the regular season on Friday night against archrival Vicksburg at Viking Stadium. Since the series began in 1981, Vicksburg has never beaten WC at Viking Stadium.