Hazlehurst stuns Warren Central, 40-8|PREP FOOTBALL

Published 12:00 am Saturday, September 20, 2008

Warren Central has seen better days.

Hazlehurst, a winless Class 3A team, dominated every phase of the game on Friday, beating the Vikings 40-8 in the home opener at Viking Stadium.

Warren Central coach Curtis Brewer didn’t mince words about the shocking loss.

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“They out-coached us, out-played us, out-hustled us. We have no excuses. It’s very unsettling,” Brewer said.

Especially with the Region 2-5A opener against Northwest Rankin coming up next week at Viking Stadium.

“We missed tackles. We missed catches. We couldn’t kick. It was a complete thing — offense, defense and specialty teams,” Brewer added.

At least Hazlehurst coach Todd McDaniel thought his team was capable of pulling an upset, just not by this much.

“This is what can happen when we don’t have three or four turnovers. We’ve played sound on defense all season. Tonight, we were tough and physical. But the biggest thing is that we took care of the football,” McDaniel said.

Hazlehurst (1-2) had three, 80-yard scoring drives in the first half to build a 22-8 lead. The one time they got on a short field, the Indians needed one play, a 35-yard TD pass from Justin Durr to Courtheney Maxwell with 1 minute, 10 seconds left before halftime to go up 28-8.

A good illustration of what happened to WC came in its two-minute drill. The Vikings reached the Indians’ 21 after Keaton Sanders completed a pair of passes of 16 and 18 yards to Cordell Valentine. With six seconds left, Jared Thames lined up for a 32-yard field goal. The kick never came off as the snap sailed passed his holder, resulting in a 25-yard loss.

The Vikings (1-2) opened the second half with a six-minute drive that reached the Indians’ 17 before the drive stalled and the  Vikings turned the ball over on downs.

Durr added a 15-yard TD pass to Chris Perkins and a 1-yard TD sneak to complete the 40-8 rout.

Hazlehurst finished with 380 yards in total offense. Little fullback Ronald Fair ran for 159 yards on 20 carries. Big-play wingback Fred Fuller added 73 yards, including touchdown runs of 14 and 1 yard. Durr had another 1-yard TD run to cap the Indians’ first 80-yard march that opened the game. He also completed 3 of 6 passes for 89 yards and two scores.

The lone WC scoring march came after Hazlehurst’s opening score. The Vikings went 43 yards in five plays capped by Antonio Curtis’ 18-yard TD run. Joel Forbes, who had 62 yards on 13 carries, added the 2-point conversion. Sanders finished 7-of-22 passing for 55 yards.