Young players give Warren Central a lift

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The Warren Central Vikings want a bus ride to the playoffs. If they get their wish, it will be because of the play of their younger players.

Last Friday at Newell Field, it was junior running back Willie Fields who made the game’s biggest play in Warren Central’s 23-21 comeback win over Murrah. Fields grabbed a lateral from senior Cordell Valentine after he caught a short pass from Keaton Sanders, and zipped 57 yards for the go-ahead touchdown. Not a single Murrah defender laid a hand on the speedy Fields as he sailed to the end zone.

“Those guys are doing a lot of good things for us,” Sanders said of Fields and Shon Jackson, who got plenty of carries with regular tailback Joel Forbes sitting out with a hamstring injury.

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The pair combined for 127 yards rushing and 72 receiving. Sanders finished with one of his best games of the year, going 10-of-17 for 130 yards and two touchdowns. The other score went to Valentine on a 15-yard pass that gave WC a 17-7 second quarter lead.

Murrah came back with a touchdown before halftime and one on the first drive of the second half to take a 21-17 lead. WC’s defense, however, kept the Mustangs in check over the final 1 1/2 quarters. With their second region win of the season, WC now stands at 2-2 in Region 2-5A and is currently tied with Clinton (4-3, 2-2) which comes to Viking Stadium Friday in a renewal of one of Central Mississippi’s best rivalries.

On defense, the Vikings have a handful of sophomores now starting like Zack Carter at middle linebacker, Beau Wallace at safety, Austin Roberts at defensive end, JaRelle Pedyfoot at linebacker and Steven Jordan at tackle.

“They are doing a real good job,” said WC senior Larry Davis, who did his part with two interceptions. The first set up Fields’ first scoring run on a 2-yard plunge early in the second quarter.

“Tonight we wanted to take out Murrah’s passing game. They had been a real good team throwing the ball, but we stepped up and gave our offense some turnovers,” Davis said. “This was a big win for us.”

Murrah had just 70 yards passing and had three passes picked off.

Jordan, one of eight players who rotate in on the defensive line, said a key has been to stay positive after the Vikings suffered four losses in five games that left them with a 2-4 record.

“We just had to hang together. We can become real good if we stick together,” Jordan said.

“We are what we are on defense. We’re young and a little slow in spots, but these guys are playing and getting experience,” WC coach Curtis Brewer said. “They really do want that bus ride to the playoffs.”


Contact Jeff Byrd at