Vikings top defense matches up against high tempo offense in Red Carpet Bowl

Published 9:43 am Thursday, August 20, 2015

Coming off a defensive and special teams heavy jamboree, Warren Central is gearing up for the city’s preeminent football event, the Red Carpet Bowl.

The Vikings take on Wayne County, a Class 5A semifinalist in 2014, in the second game of a doubleheader at Warren Central. Kickoff is scheduled for 8:30 p.m. The first game will feature Vicksburg vs. Harrison Central at 6 p.m.

Warren Central head coach Josh Morgan saw a lot of nervousness and big eyes in last week’s jamboree against Germantown and expected those reactions. He said there were mistakes and misalignments as well, but those will be worked on and fixed this week in practice.

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“Our offense wasn’t on the field very long. We had two big plays for touchdowns, but we got to see some good things and play a good football team and I think it made us better,” Morgan said.

On Friday Morgan will be looking to see his team compete.

With it being early in the season the team’s focused on executing its game plan and playing to the best of its ability, not so much its opponent. Morgan wants to see his team hustle, have relentless effort and play with an edge.

“Our older guys understand where we are and the importance of this game. The Red Carpet Bowl is huge to our football team and it’ll be a tremendous crowd,” Morgan said. “Playing a very good football team in Wayne County, they’re locked in and doing everything we ask them to do.”

Leadership is a theme that has permeated throughout the Vikings’ locker room. The seniors have helped underclassmen prepare for the game by making sure they’re focused, studying film and the opponent.

Morgan said these are things that need to be understood in order to be successful, and the seniors have done a good job to make sure the underclassmen understand the preparation needed to win.

The Vikings are feeling the jitters of the first game of the season, however, Morgan feels good coming out of the jamboree heading into their first game against a top team in the state.

Wayne County finished 11-3 last season, and won at least 10 games in six of the past seven seasons.

To prepare for the matchup Morgan took a lot of pride in his film study with his players and how they used their time wisely.

He recognized Wayne County runs a high tempo offense and tried to simulate the speed as best as he could in practice.

“I got one of the best defenses in the state as well. We tried to simulate what they do. Of course we know it’s not going to be as good as they do it, but we try to give our players a little bit of everything they’re going to see,” Morgan said.