Vikings addressing O-line woes

Published 11:25 am Tuesday, July 31, 2012

One aspect third-year Warren Central coach Josh Morgan wants to address in the first two weeks of preseason practice is the Vikings’ offensive line play.

The lack of a physical presence on the offensive line was a primary cause of the team’s 1-10 finish in 2011.

Despite a couple of 30-point-plus games, the Vikings struggled the rest of the time putting points on the scoreboard — or at other times — just moving the first down sticks. The team averaged 134.3 yards per game on the ground and completed 32 percent of its 217 passes.

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Morgan said there is no doubt where the emphasis will be placed as the Vikings work toward the Red Carpet Bowl opener against Pearl on Aug. 17 at Viking Stadium.

“The second week of practice, when we go in full pads, is going to be a busy week for us,” Morgan said. “We have to work on our physicality.”

And it will begin with the offensive line.

“No doubt, we have to shore up our offensive line,” Morgan said. “We need to find the right combination of guys. We need to put the best five guys who can play together there. Then we can fill in behind them to build depth.”

Warren Central looked impressive in the spring game, when it stomped Ridgeland 37-9 at Viking Stadium. Four quarterbacks combined to pass for 411 yards and five touchdowns. Two went to senior wide receiver Kourey Davis.

“We’re out here early, working hard to get better and win games,” Davis said. “We feel we can win the division.”

Last year’s standings would suggest otherwise as Warren Central finished dead last at 1-6 in the eight-team league. The lone win was a 35-34 decision against Greenville-Weston.

One way Morgan hopes to get the Vikings in game shape early will be to play a preseason jamboree next week at Jackson Academy.

“We played Brandon last year and I thought it helped us,” Morgan said. “It will give us a chance to fix things before they count.”