Offensive woes bring out frustration in every Viking

Published 12:00 am Thursday, September 14, 2006

September 14, 2006.

Late in the second quarter of Friday night’s Warren Central game, South Pike stopped WC’s run game for a loss.

Coach Curtis Brewer flung his playbook to the ground, an obvious act of frustration at an offense that has been unable to do much of anything since an opening win in the Red Carpet Bowl.

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Coaches all over throw things, kick water jugs and scream, butthat has not been true at Warren Central where the football program has always been administered in a calm, deliberate manner. Seeing a visual act of frustration was a sign that things have gone awry.

WC scored 37 points in its opening game win over Memphis-Kirby, but since then has scored two touchdowns and lost two games.

Last Friday night, Warren Central had five drives consist of five or fewer plays. The team lost two fumbles and was intercepted one time. Of the 117 total yards, 60 of those came on the opening drive of the second half.

The drive was so dominating, it reminded those in attendance of Warren Central’s past dominance.

The Vikings marched 60 yards in 13 plays – all runs – before Joel Forbes crashed through from 1 yard out to get WC within 12-7.

Players on the sidelines chanted and wailed &#8220Offense, Offense.” Brewer looked at a few not involved and said, &#8220Whoever doesn’t want to participate can head to the locker room.”

No one left.

It was the kind of drive that Warren Central has used so many times before – wearing down an opponent into submission. It also gave players and coaches a ray of hope to finally get the offense clicking.

The next six plays netted minus-11 yards and WC punted twice. The Vikings did record a first down on their final drive of the game, but South Pike intercepted a pass with less than two minutes to play to end it.

Right now, the Vikings are not a threat to pass. On Friday, a pair of WC quarterbacks completed 5 of 11 passes for 8 yards. One of the completions went for minus-16 yards.

Defenses have become aware of WC’s struggles. A one-dimensional offense is very rarely a winner in today’s game. Success in high school football will always be predicated on the running game, but there has to be a threat to pass to be successful.

The Vikings’ defense is stout. They had a goal-line stand against South Pike when the game was at 18-7 with plenty of time for victory. The offense, though, had no answer.

With Meridian looming Friday and region play starting the following week, time for fixing an ailing offense is running out. Warren Central has made the postseason every year since 1985. They talk about holding up tradition, getting new banners for the field house and making another run toward state dominance.

It won’t happen until a vaccine is found for whatever is ailing the offense.

Time is running short for the Vikings. Region 2-5A schools are too tough to rely solely on defense to win.

After this week, every team will have the same region record as eight teams fight for four coveted playoff spots.

Every game is crucial. Every play is crucial. Without a bonafide offense, WC could face a long, long region schedule.