Vikings show versatility

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Versatility and focus are two big reasons why Warren Central’s offense appears on track toward a resurgent year.

In two games, the Vikings have gotten 49 points from their offense and six from the defense for an average of 27.5 points per game as WC (1-1) heads into its first road trip of the season at Hattiesburg.

WC offensive coordinator Larry Tyrone is elated with the weapons he now has at his disposal. The Vikings threw for 155 yards in a 35-21 loss in the opener to Gulfport, but came back to rush for 261 yards in a 34-13 rout of Lawrence County last Friday at Viking Stadium.

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“We seem to have a lot of guys who can make positive plays and do the right things,” Tyrone said after the Vikings’ big win over the Cougars, who came in ranked No. 6 in Class 4A by the Associated Press.

In the Gulfport game, first-year starting quarterback Beau Wallace completed 12 passes to six different receivers. Against Lawrence County, he threw less but was more efficient, going 6-for-7 for 72 yards, including a 27-yard touchdown pass to Patrick Taylor to cap the team’s opening drive of the game.

Then the running game took over as Tyrone mixed in the slash and swivel of Tim Jones and the power of 300-pound fullback John Gustavis along with Austin Roberts. WC built a 20-0 lead 13 minutes into the game and then put it away with a fourth quarter score by Jones, who finished with three offensive touchdowns.

“A lot of what we try to do is take what the defense gives us. But what helps us is we’ve got guys who can do more things. We were able to catch Lawrence County a couple of times in some favorable alignments,” Tyrone said.

A key component is blocking. Not only is the Viking offensive line more cohesive, the backs, led by Gustavis, are helping in the passing game as well.

“The big thing is our backs are picking up blitzes. When we can do that, we usually have a successful play,” Tyrone added.

WC head coach Curtis Brewer gives the Viking linemen, who include Bradley Scurria, Steve Jordan, Carlan Crotwell, Jamie Gerache and Jimal Johnson, a heap of credit.

“Just because you might not have as much talent as previous folks, doesn’t mean you can’t be good. These guys are more focused and they’ve responded to the challenge to do well,” Brewer said.

Lawrence County coach Mike David agreed that the Vikings’ control of the line of scrimmage was key.

“We just couldn’t match up with their personnel up front,” David said.

The Vikings finished with 333 yards of total offense and four offensive scores. Jones rushed for a career high 154 yards and three TDs. He added a 60-yard interception return for the Vikings’ final score.

He now has six touchdowns this season.

Contact Jeff Byrd at