Vikings trying to correct costly mistakes

Published 12:04 pm Friday, August 27, 2010

Two teams that implemented a new spread offense but struggled in their season-openers meet tonight in Monticello when Warren Central heads south to face Lawrence County.

Warren Central coach Josh Morgan is hoping the Vikings can address the two areas that cost them in last week’s 35-0 loss to Ocean Springs in the Red Carpet Bowl — turnovers and inexperience.

“The two big things last week were ball security and our defensive line. We had five turnovers. We had times where our guy was fighting for extra yards, which is something you like to see, but there are times when it’s best to just get down,” Morgan said.

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The Vikings lost three fumbles, including one near the end zone that resulted in an easy Ocean Springs touchdown. Senior quarterback Beau Wallace also threw two interceptions. While mistakes like that usually can be fixed, the defensive line is a bigger problem.

“We didn’t hold up well there,” Morgan said. “We have to get much better there in order to compete at this level.”

There are some bright spots to build upon going into tonight’s game against Lawrence County. Shon Jackson rushed for 95 yards and caught a 17-yard pass from Wallace. Safeties Bill McRight and Given Breckenridge led the team in tackles.

“Both our safeties had really good games. But it’s not that good a thing for your safeties to be your leading tacklers,” Morgan said.

Warren Central would also like to get better production out of its version of the spread offense. Wallace completed just 4 of 17 passes for 40 yards. Morgan said WC’s youth was a factor.

“We played 16 boys on offense who had never played football on a Friday night. We had 19 boys on the defense who had never played on a Friday night and that showed up tremendously. Still, there are things we can build off it. It was a great teaching tape. Now we just need to forget about it and move one,” Morgan said.

For years Lawrence County was known as a strong Wing-T formation team and had trouble passing the ball, which hurt them in last year’s 34-13 loss to the Vikings in Vicksburg. That has changed. Quarterback Adam Watson was 8-for-11 passing for 120 yards in a season-opening 19-7 loss to Callaway. Watson also threw a costly interception that was returned for a game-clinching touchdown.

“They hired a new offensive coordinator and they are doing a lot of different things with the spread,” Morgan said. “They don’t have an overly big team but they run to the ball really well on defense and you can see how well coached they are.”