Vikings, Provine meet in elimination game

Published 12:00 am Friday, October 31, 2008

Provine may have lost its best offensive player early in the year in quarterback Nickoe Whitley, a Mississippi State committ, but the Rams still have arguably the best defensive player in Region 2-5A in linebacker Maxie Graham.

Warren Central remembers all too well what Graham did to them last year at Hughes Field. Graham’s sack and forced fumble of Keaton Sanders helped the Rams hold on for a 14-9 win over the Vikings that kept them out of the playoffs.

Graham is back to lead the Rams (5-4, 2-3) into tonight’s game against the Vikings (3-5, 2-3) in what amounts to a playoff game for both teams. Another loss to Provine, and WC gets to end with a season-ending trip to Grenada next week.

Email newsletter signup

Sign up for The Vicksburg Post's free newsletters

Check which newsletters you would like to receive
  • Vicksburg News: Sent daily at 5 am
  • Vicksburg Sports: Sent daily at 10 am
  • Vicksburg Living: Sent on 15th of each month

“Graham is their big play man on defense,” WC coach Curtis Brewer said. “He’s coming every time. With the amount of involvement he has on their defense, he is probably the the most standout player in our region.”

If the Vikings can control Graham and his buddies, WC’s goal of getting on the playoff bus can become a reality.

“We’re playing to get to the playoffs. This group of seniors have not been able to do it but we are working hard as we can to do it this time,” Brewer said.

WC may have already locked up a playoff berth had they not had a fourth quarter meltdown last week against Clinton. They led 9-3 with six minutes left in the fourth quarter. Clinton then scored two touchdowns in a 14-second span, which included a 30-yard return of a fumbled kickoff, and then got three interceptions thereafter to escape with a 17-9 win.

“I don’t do the blame game. That game just slipped away. Our kids paid attention all week, they played good assignment defense, they did an extremely good job outside of a play here and there. But somebody, somewhere, and somehow has got to make a play for us in the red zone,” Brewer said.

Three times over the first three quarters, the Vikings had the ball inside Clinton’s 20-yard line. They came away with three Jared Thames field goals.

“You’ve got to have all 11 players on the same page. Had we scored a touchdown instead of kicking field goals, we wouldn’t be in the position we are now presented with,” Brewer said.

And the future is Provine.

“It’ll be a slobberknocker of a game. Without Whitley, they’ve gone back to the smash mouth style they used to play. They try to force you to make mistakes,” Brewer said.

The Vikings will try to get the ball to Cordell Valentine, who leads Warren County with 33 catches for 423 yards. Sanders has completed 56 of 129 for 677 yards.


Contact Jeff Byrd at