Vikings take a break|Prep football

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The state-mandated open dates for Mississippi High School Activities Association football teams is something new for 30-plus-year veteran coach Curtis Brewer. The Vikings, who came through their non-region schedule 2-2, will make do.

“I’ve never had a team that’s had an open date, so this is something new for us,” Brewer said. “We’ve always just played a straight 10 or 11-game regular season.”

Even without an opponent this week, the Vikings will focus on three things during the open date.

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

“We’ll review our mistakes. We’ll review the things we’ve done well, and we’ll continue to try and find some depth,” Brewer said.

For WC offensive coordinator Larry Tyrone, it’s easy to pinpoint what the Vikings have done well.

“The biggest single difference, from this season from those in the past couple of years, has been turnovers. We’ve had just one turnover in four games,” Tyrone said.

By protecting the ball more, the Vikings have managed to score more points. They have averaged 24 points per game. Even in their two losses, the Vikings scored 21 and 14 points, respectively.

“The big step we made last week against Natchez is that we scored enough points to win,” Tyrone said of the Vikings’ 26-23 win. WC built a 26-15 lead early in the fourth quarter and then overcame a late fumble to hold on for the win when backup sophomore cornerback Bill McRight made a hit and Ryan Ray recovered a Natchez fumble with a minute left in the game.

“Last year’s team may have folded up after a mistake like that, but this team came back and made a play,” Brewer said. “I felt several of our young guys made plays in that game. Charquez Washington played well and so did Louis Carson on defense when we had to move Tim Comans from the defensive line to the offense when Jamie Gerache went out. And Malcolm Grant made a big catch that really lifted us,” Brewer said.

Getting contributions from other than the team’s main core of Tim Jones, Beau Wallace, Patrick Taylor and John Gustavis, is something Tyrone is pleased with. One of the key problems that Vikings have endured is a lack of depth, which is surprising for a 6A team.

“We’ve been progressing each week, we’ve got a lot of kids involved and they are contributing,” Tyrone said.

“We were able to mix in a good number of younger players in the Natchez game and they performed adequately,” Brewer said. “We played between 25 to 30 kids.”

While the veteran core gets some much needed rest, some banged up and bruised Vikings will get added rehab time.

“We get to rest up our hurt people, like an Alex Sorrells,” Tyrone said.

Sorrells, the team’s backup tailback to Jones, missed the Natchez game with a leg injury. Gerache, Carlos Gonzales and Steve Jordan got banged up a bit.

“The kids who are sore get eight to 10 days to recover, so I guess it’s a good thing to have this week off before we start region play,” Brewer said.

Contact Jeff Byrd at