Vikings pull out huge victory|Prep football

Published 12:00 am Monday, September 28, 2009

FLOWOOD — It was the kind of game Warren Central hadn’t won in a few years.

It was the kind of game they couldn’t have won in a few years.

Trailing Northwest Rankin by two touchdowns late in the third quarter, the Vikings drove the field twice to tie the contest. Finding themselves behind in overtime and facing third-and-goal from the 7, there was no panic as Beau Wallace threw a quick slant to Lebarron Lee for the tying touchdown.

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Moments later, as WC’s players pleaded with their coaches to let them go for the win, there was little doubt the Vikings would convert if given the chance. Tim Jones did just that, diving over the pile on the two-point conversion to give WC a thrilling 27-26 victory.

It was a win that made a statement for WC (3-2, 1-0 Region 2-6A). Not only that the program is back and will be a contender in the region, but that these aren’t the same Vikings people had gotten used to the last three seasons.

“Last year’s team didn’t have enough determination to win until the end. We’ve got a good set of boys andplayed until the end,” said Jones, who ran for 241 yards against Northwest Rankin.

Warren Central coach Curtis Brewer said he didn’t want to compare previous teams to the 2009 Vikings, but there were certainly obvious differences.

Over the last three seasons, WC had made its reputation as a strong defensive squad with a slow, plodding offense. Nine- and 10-play scoring drives, when they happened, were not uncommon, and third-and-long was all too often an impossible task. Big plays were almost nonexistent.

Against Northwest, Jones broke off five runs of 15 yards or more. That included a 43-yarder from his own 3-yard line that sparked the game-tying, 97-yard scoring drive. Ten of Jones’ 28 carries went for first downs, and the Vikings had 25 first downs in the game.

“Game ball. He made big plays, he kept pushing and struggling,” Brewer said of Jones’ effort. “He is one of a group, and I hope all of us realize they had eight men in box. When he could break one over it, we got a big one. It was a team effort.”

Indeed it was. Wallace was intercepted twice, but also threw the touchdown pass in overtime and finished 9-for-17 for 102 yards. Lee caught three passes for 38 yards and a TD, all after halftime.

And the defense did its job as well. It slowed the Cougars down after they scored on two of their first three possessions and came up with several huge plays in the final minute of regulation.

An interception gave the Cougars the ball at the WC 39 with 24 seconds left, and Eddie Abraham ran it to the 26 on the next play. The Vikings, though, stuffed two straight running plays to push it back to the 32-yard line and a 46-yard field goal was just short as time expired. Had Northwest kicker Taylor Walker been five yards closer, it probably would have been good.

That allowed WC to pull out a much-needed win.


Contact Ernest Bowker at