Arrows shoot down Vikes
Published 12:00 am Saturday, October 24, 2009
CLINTON — Warren Central could not put the wraps on Clinton wide receiver Alex McWilliams and now faces two must-win home games in order to secure a road playoff game as a No. 3 seed in November.
McWilliams caught three touchdown passes from Arrow quarterback Elliott Brashier of 36, 16 and 56 yards to pace Clinton’s 34-15 win over the Vikings Friday night at Arrows Stadium. The loss drops Warren Central (5-4, 3-2 Region 2-6A) into third place going into the final two regular season games at home against Vicksburg and Grenada. Clinton (8-1, 4-1) clinches a playoff berth and all but sewed up a No. 2 seed from the region and with it, a home playoff game on Nov. 13.
Warren Central linebacker Jericho Harris said the Vikings pretty much know their playoff scenario.
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“We’ve got those two home games, Vicksburg and Grenada, and if we win both we’ll get a playoff game up north,” Harris said.
Warren Central had its chances against the Arrows but could not stop the McWilliams-Brashier connection when it counted.
“You had to hand it to Alex McWilliams — three touchdowns,” Harris said. “Their passing game opened up the run game.”
Brashier completed 9-of-17 passes for 190 yards and three scores. McWilliams had five catches for 133 yards. The Arrows also rushed for 165 yards, with tailback Josh Dixon getting 107 yards and a touchdown.
“We were fortunate to make some big plays, including some big passes,” Clinton coach Scott Brown said. “They (WC) have a good team and if one or two plays go the other way, this is a dead-even game.”
Those one or two plays came on Clinton’s first possession of the second half. Up 14-7, the Arrows caught the first of two big breaks when Dixon fumbled but the ball rolled 8 yards past a handful of Vikings before an Arrow lineman recovered it at midfield.
Then two plays later, WC’s Patrick Taylor had the Vikings’ third interception of Brashier in his grasp, but lost it on the way to the ground. Five plays later, Brashier hit McWilliams for a 16-yard score and the Vikings were now down 21-7 after Will Nation’s kick with 6:33 left in the third quarter.
“We missed the fumble on the ground and then we gave up a sure interception. With the wide receivers they’ve got, you can’t give up stops. When they step out the score, it makes it hard for us to come back,” WC coach Curtis Brewer said.
Brashier’s 56-yard TD toss to McWilliams with 31.8 seconds left in the third quarter finished his passing night. Akiko Thompson added a 3-yard TD run with 10:24 to play to make it 34-7.
The Vikings got a late score when JaRalle Pedyfoot dove in from the 1. The play was set up by Beau Wallace’s 33-yard pass to Taylor. Austin Roberts got the two-point conversion to make it 34-15 with 2:34 left.
Dixon opened the scoring on an 18-yard run to cap Clinton’s opening possession. WC came back with a dazzling 71-yard TD run by Tim Jones early in the second quarter to tie it at 7-all after Devon Bell’s kick. Jones finished with 107 yards rushing on 15 carries but was pulled after a fumble late in the third quarter.
Wallace ended 5-of-11 for 49 yards. Bill McRight and Alex Sorrells had two first-half interceptions to stop a pair of Arrow scoring chances.
Contact Jeff Byrd at email@example.com