Vikings return home to face Indians

Published 12:00 am Friday, September 19, 2008

Last Friday night was the first time in a long time Warren Central coach Curtis Brewer did not have a Vikings football game to coach.

Warren Central’s contest at South Pike in Magnolia was canceled because storms associated with Hurricane Ike made travel a concern for the Vicksburg Warren School District officials. It was the only football game called off in the state.

“It was the first time I’ve had to stay home on a Friday night during football season,” Brewer said this week as his Vikings (1-1) prepare to resume their season with a home opener tonight against Hazlehurst (0-2).

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“Our kids ought to be fresh, but we also needed to play last week. This makes two weeks where weather was a disruptive force for our team,” Brewer said.

Hazlehurst got to play last week and were beaten 17-6 by Vicksburg, ironically, the last opponent the Vikings faced back on Sept. 5. WC lost 7-0 at Memorial Stadium.

Brewer said he sees some similarities with the Indians and Gators.

“They have a lot of speed both offensively and defensively. No. 21 (Fred Fuller) is a game-breaker. You can’t let him get behind you,” Brewer said.

Fuller ran for 112 yards on 13 carries against Vicksburg. He had four runs of 13 yards or more, all coming on Hazlehurst’s best play, a wing reverse out of a double-wing set.

“They run the wing and do the pulling guard. He (Fuller) likes to get upfield by either turning it up or going on outside. We have to protect the outside corner,” Brewer said.

Hazlehurst can pass the ball, too. Quarterback Jason Durr completed 5 of 11 passes for 82 yards. He connected on a 43-yard pass to put the Indians on the VHS 6 yard line late in the fourth quarter. The Indians, however, fumbled on the next play and the Gators ran out the clock.

Hazlehurst coach Todd McDaniel said his team has learned a lot from playing 3A power Franklin County (a 21-6 loss) and Vicksburg.

“We’ve played two tough opponents and we know our problems are mental things,” McDaniel said. “We think we can be there at the end. Vicksburg was more physical than us and their linebacker No. 5 (Carlos Williams) was out of this world. He reminds a lot of (ex-Hazlehurst star) Johnny Sanders.”

Warren Central’s playmaker on defense is linebacker Joe Harris. He will be counted on to help the Vikings stay sound on defense against Hazlehurst’s attack.

“We’re going to have to deal with their misdirection and with their speed,” Brewer added. “They also have tremendous speed on defense. Their linebackers are very disruptive.”

The Indians gave up 262 yards in total offense to Vicksburg. Les Lemons ran for 112 yards and passed for 92 and a touchdown against Hazlehurst.