Vikings look for positives in defeat|Prep football

Published 12:00 am Monday, November 16, 2009

OLIVE BRANCH — A final 6-6 record is quite reflective of the up and down season the Warren Central Vikings had in 2009.

The year ended on Friday night with a 38-6 loss to Olive Branch (10-2) in the first-round of the Class 6A playoffs. But just getting to the postseason after a three-year absence was a realized goal for coach Curtis Brewer and the Warren Central seniors.

“We had our ups and downs this season. We had some big moments and low moments. I want our kids to remember the high points.” Brewer said.

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Some of the notable high points for WC in 2009 included a 26-23 road win at Natchez, a team that advanced to the second round after beating Petal last Friday.

The Vikings also beat Northwest Rankin, 27-26, in a thrilling overtime game where Tim Jones scored the game-winning two-point conversion, and Grenada in the regular-season finale. Those two key victories allowed the Vikings to finish 4-3 in Region 2-6A, good enough for third place.

The obvious lows were road losses to Madison Central and Clinton and a 13-7 home loss to archrival Vicksburg.

The Vikings were able to bounce back from their low points in part because of senior leadership provided by Jones and linebacker Jericho Harris.

“We saw this as a chance to rebuild this program and we got that stuff going,” Harris said. “We’re the only senior class in the last four years at Warren Central to make it to the playoffs. We have left something for the rest of these guys coming back to build on.”

One player the Vikings can build an offense around is junior quarterback Beau Wallace. He had 137 yards passing against Olive Branch, including the Vikings’ lone score on a 62-yard TD pass to Jones. For the season, Wallace completed 67 of 134 passes for 701 yards and three touchdowns.

As the Vikings turned to Jones and the running game to carry the offense, however, Wallace’s numbers declined after a strong start. He threw for 303 yards in his first three games, and only about 400 in his last nine.

Jones capped a strong senior season with three catches for 86 yards and a score against Olive Branch.

While he had just 20 yards rushing on Friday, Jones finished the season with 1,461 yards and 15 touchdowns.


Contact Jeff Byrd at