Miscues costly again for Warren Central

Published 12:00 am Saturday, November 1, 2008

Once again, a playoff berth was in Warren Central’s grasp.

And, once again, the Vikings dropped, kicked and threw it away.

Provine’s Aaron McClinton broke a 67-yard, go-ahead touchdown run early in the fourth quarter, and Provine added a clinching touchdown a few minutes later after a bad punt snap to beat Warren Central 18-9 Friday night at Viking Stadium.

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WC hurt itself with turnovers and missed opportunities for a second straight week and saw its playoff hopes take a crippling blow. The Vikings could have all but wrapped up a spot with wins the last two weeks against Clinton and Provine. Now, they must wait and hope things fall exactly the right way next Friday night and win a few tiebreakers to boot.

“It’s real disappointing. We never got on that old bus. Our senior class never got on that playoff bus,” said WC receiver Cordell Valentine, who caught five passes for 87 yards and one touchdown on Friday.

Warren Central missed two field goals, had a fumble returned for a touchdown, and then the bad punt snap that gave Provine the ball at the 20-yard line and led to the clinching touchdown. As bad as the mistakes themselves were when and where they happened.

The fumble came with WC dominating, holding a 7-0 lead and driving inside the Provine 25. Joel Forbes fumbled a pitch, and Provine’s Jadarius Hicks returned it 78 yards for a touchdown. The extra point was no good, leaving the score at 7-6, and WC made it a three-point game by blocking a punt out of the end zone for a safety early in the third quarter.

WC missed a field goal on the ensuing drive, and with 10 minutes to go in the fourth quarter Provine took the lead on McClinton’s 67-yard run. That one run covered 41 more yards than the Rams had in the entire first half.

“We had him wrapped up twice, and had our heads down not making tackles. That’s nobody’s fault but our fault, and it was no one person on that play. Several people missed tackles,” WC coach Curtis Brewer said.

The final, backbreaking miscue came on WC’s next possession. Facing a fourth-and-13 from the Provine 47, the Vikings had a fake punt called. The play was blown dead by a false start, though, and the fake was called off. The snap sailed over the head of punter Jared Thames, all the way back to the WC 20-yard line, and Provine quarterback Jonathan Martin scored on an 11-yard run with 2:18 left in the game to make it 18-9.

“We seem to find a way to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory,” a glum Brewer said. “I’m not going to play the blame game. If there’s blame, put it to me. Right now it seems like we just can’t put scoring drives together.”


Contact Ernest Bowker at ebowker@vicksburgpost.com.