Vikings aim to salvage pride in season finale

Published 12:02 pm Thursday, November 4, 2010

The high point of the season passed and the end close at hand, Warren Central’s game at Grenada Friday night feels more like an epilogue to the season than the next chapter of the story.

Neither team can improve its standing in Region 2-6A. Grenada (3-7, 3-3) is locked into fourth place and will advance to the Class 6A playoffs next week against South Panola. Warren Central (2-8, 1-5) will stay home after wrapping up a disappointing season.

The best the Vikings can hope for is a little fun for their seniors, a look at some younger players, and a win to head into the offseason on a high note.

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“Any time we play, we prepare and play to win. You play this one for your seniors. Have pride and finish what you started,” WC coach Josh Morgan said. “It’ll help to win, just to feel that sensation. It’s been a difficult year for everybody, and it would be good to go out on a positive note.”

The WC-Grenada game is the only one of four on the Region 2-6A schedule this week that won’t impact the playoff race. Grenada clinched a spot by beating Murrah 19-0 last Friday and is two games behind Northwest Rankin, Madison Central and Clinton.

Warren Central, meanwhile, was finally eliminated with its 22-12 loss to archrival Vicksburg. It was a defeat that summed up the Vikings’ season — crucial mistakes, a few bad breaks and a slew of missed opportunities throughout the game led to their downfall.

“It’s been one of those years where everything we needed to go right, went wrong. The people we needed to stay healthy, didn’t,” Morgan said. “It’s been a tough year. I feel we’ve gotten better every week. Even after a loss, I feel like we’re playing our best ball right now.”

There were a few bright spots in last week’s loss. Sophomore running back Greg King rushed for 118 yards on 22 carries, becoming the first WC back to go over the 100-yard mark since Shon Jackson suffered a season-ending knee injury in September.

King is one of several young players Morgan said will get some extra playing time on Friday night. The meaningless game will give the coaching staff an opportunity to evaluate players returning next season, Morgan said.

“It’ll be a controlled substitution. The second or third possession, we’ll look at our second offense and get the backups and quarterbacks some reps,” Morgan said. “The younger guys know they’ll get a chance to play, and they deserve it. They’ve worked hard all year.”