Terry and McComb to appear in 51st Red Carpet Bowl Classic

Published 11:42 am Tuesday, December 4, 2012

A new era of football for Warren Central and Vicksburg High will kick off with a couple of new opponents.

The Red Carpet Bowl Committee on Monday announced that McComb and Terry will be the Warren County schools’ opponents for the annual season-opening Red Carpet Bowl Classic in 2013 and 2014.

Warren Central will play McComb in next season’s RCB at Vicksburg High, while the host Gators will face Terry. In 2014, the game will be again at Vicksburg’s Memorial Stadium, but the opponents will be reversed.

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Terry will be making its first appearance in the Red Carpet Bowl, while McComb will be playing in it for the first time since 1965.

McComb went 8-3 in 2012 and lost to Pearl River Central in the first round of the Class 5A playoffs. Terry went 11-2 in both 2005 and 2006, but has not had a winning season since. It finished 3-8 this season. Ironically, the teams opened the season against each other each of the last two years.

RCB Committee attorney Briggs Hopson III, a former board member who is in charge of procuring teams for the game, said the proximity and past history of Terry and McComb made them attractive opponents.

“They’re both relatively close by, and we’re hopeful they’ll bring good crowds,” Hopson said. “McComb had a playoff team last year and I think Terry is on the way back up.”

In addition to having little to no history in the Red Carpet Bowl, neither McComb nor Terry has much history with Warren Central and Vicksburg. Terry has never played either Warren County team. Vicksburg’s last meeting with McComb was in the 1984 Class 4A South State championship game.

McComb and Warren Central were regular opponents through the 1980s and 90s, but have not played since 2004.

“I don’t think our kids remember it, it’s been that long,” said WC coach Josh Morgan, who seemed to know little about the current McComb football team other than their reputation. “I know they play very good football and made the playoffs this season.”

McComb and Terry will replace Pearl and Brandon as Red Carpet Bowl opponents for WC and VHS, and are part of a larger schedule shakeup brought on by the latest round of realignment by the Mississippi High School Activities Association.

Warren Central will have two new region opponents — Starkville and Columbus — and shift its annual rivalry game with Vicksburg to September since they’re now in different classifications. The Vikings will also play Callaway and Natchez, both of whom they faced this season, in 2013.

Vicksburg, which dropped from Class 6A to Class 5A, has not yet set its non-region schedule. It will have to familiarize itself with a host of new foes in Region 2-5A. Of its seven new league mates, the Gators have played only one since 2008 — Pearl, in the 2012 Red Carpet Bowl.

“We’ve got a couple of teams in mind,” Vicksburg coach Tavares Johnson Sr. said of his scheduling plans. “We’re just trying to focus on us right now. We’re trying to get Vicksburg High School to the point where it’s competitive and one of the best programs in the state.”

Also Monday, the RCB Committee announced the schedule for the Red Carpet Basketball Classic on Jan. 26 at Vicksburg High.

St. Aloysius and Porters Chapel will tip things off with a girls-boys doubleheader starting at 10 a.m. Warren Central’s girls team will play Provine at 1 p.m., then the WC boys will face Yazoo County afterward. Vicksburg and Clarksdale will wrap things up with another girls-boys doubleheader beginning at 4 p.m.