Callaway poses big challenge for WC Vikings

Published 11:05 am Thursday, August 28, 2014

Warren Central's Miraculous Powers, left, tries to put a move on Terry's Antonio Bracey during last week's Red Carpet Bowl game. Warren Central will play Callaway Friday night in Jackson. (Justin Sellers/The Vicksburg Post)

Warren Central’s Miraculous Powers, left, tries to put a move on Terry’s Antonio Bracey during last week’s Red Carpet Bowl game. Warren Central will play Callaway Friday night in Jackson. (Justin Sellers/The Vicksburg Post)

There are two charts tacked onto the wall inside Warren Central’s locker room, each one outlining the goals of both the offense and defense for that Friday’s game. A blank box is left next to each written aspiration for coaches to mark if the goal is met. After last week’s dominant performance against Terry in the Red Carpet Bowl, there wasn’t much white space left on the pages.

The Vikings only allowed three first downs and 124 yards — 82 of which came on one play — in a 38-6 rout and are looking for a repeat performance this Friday when they visit a talented Callaway squad that reached the Class 5A North State championship game a season ago.

“I felt like we were the deeper team (than Terry). Our depth, our conditioning really helped us. We were rotating ones and twos in very early, and I thought that our offensive line just really took over the game from the first possession on,” WC coach Josh Morgan said. “They controlled the tempo, controlled the line of scrimmage, and that was really the story of the ball game.”

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Callaway lost three players from last season’s team who signed with Ole Miss, and was shut out by Forest Hill, 12-0, in its opener. The Chargers, though, have often given the Vikings fits. Two of the last three games have been decided in overtime, and last year’s wasn’t settled until late in the fourth quarter.

Callaway also has a big size advantage over the Vikings, Morgan said.

“We’ve always had a good series with them, going back to three years ago when we first started playing them,” Morgan said. “They’re extremely big, just like every Callaway team is. And when I say huge, I mean huge.”

It’s a size disadvantage Warren Central looks to control by being active at the line of scrimmage and putting players in gaps defensively. On offense, the Vikings will simply have to line up and win the one-on-one battles in the trenches despite being smaller.

“That’s when we’ve got to bow up and win those matchups. Pad leverage is key. Another team may have size, but if we have the right pad leverage and right angles, then we can do our thing,” Morgan said. “We’ll go back to fundamentals, defensively, try to do everything we can to keep their hands off of us.”

Last week’s Red Carpet Bowl win, Warren Central’s first since 2008, has built a growing confidence within the locker room that coaches hope will jumpstart the program heading into Friday night and beyond.

“Confidence and experience are something that I can’t do for them, and their coaching staff can’t do that for them. You’ve got to be thrown in the fire; you’ve got to have game experience,” Morgan said. “You can’t learn that on a chalkboard or in a sit-down meeting. It’s the same way with confidence. You can’t fake confidence. I can’t give you confidence. It’s something that you’ve got to get on, you’ve got to earn it, you’ve got to feel it and you’ve got to truly believe it.”