WC, Provine to battle for playoff spot|[10/27/06]
Published 12:00 am Friday, October 27, 2006
Warren Central coaches one-by-one filed into the fieldhouse each bringing the similar message.
“We need to get them rocks in them jugs. We need to get everyone out here,” assistant coach Robert Morgan said.
“We need the stands full,” head coach Curtis Brewer said.
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The pleas to the Warren Central Nation extend well beyond just Viking faithful. The pleas extend to the county and far beyond the county. The fact is, there has not been a game as meaningful as tonight’s clash between Provine and Warren Central in quite some time.
Vikings win, they go to the playoffs. Vikings lose, they stay home. A simple conclusion to a regular season that has been anything but simple for Warren Central.
Decimated by graduation to both the offense and defense, the Vikings showed their inexperience early, losing four in a row after a Red Carpet Bowl win over Kirby.
It all changed last Friday night when WC knocked off then-No. 3 Clinton, 17-16, in overtime. The victory moved WC within a victory of extending the state’s longest playoff appearance streak to 22 years.
“I know this, if we want to extend the streak, everyone on our team has to come ready to play,” Brewer said. “We’ve got some kids bruised up (after Clinton). You get a heavyweight fighter who goes 12 rounds, he gets to take two months off before preparing for his next fight.
“We had us a heavyweight bout last week and we are turning around and having another one this week.”
If Warren Central wants to win its second big-time game in a row, it must stop running back Anton Taylor, who has rushed for well over 1,000 yards and scored 17 touchdowns.
“We’ve seen some good backs,” Brewer said. “Harper (at Clinton) came up and challenged a little in the middle, but most of their stuff was counters and sweeps. None of them just light you up on a power.
“Eighty percent of Taylor’s runs will be in your face, between the tackles.”
The Vikings held Harper to 68 yards rushing and Northwest Rankin’s Josh Brumfield to 100 yards, which at the time was 100 under his average.
Both WC and Provine should feature a steady diet of running plays. The Vikings have averaged about five passes per game since sophomore Keaton Sanders took over at quarterback.
With the emergence of sophomore running back Joel Forbes, there is little doubt what WC will do on offense. It could prove a little tricky if starting fullback Vic Tyrone does not play. He was injured in the Clinton win and is a game-time decision. If Tyrone cannot go, look for WC to run a fullback-by-committee.
The winner of tonight’s game will earn the No. 4 seed in Region 2-5A and will likely travel to top-ranked South Panola, the state record-holder with 54 straight wins.