WC kicker Wright boots game-winner to beat Pearl

Published 1:38 am Saturday, August 29, 2015

There was little separating Warren Central from Pearl as both schools engaged in a neck-and-neck battle Friday night. Kicker Nick Wright finally sealed it for the Vikings with a 29-yard field goal with 9 seconds left, giving them a 45-42 victory.“What a night for high school football and the fans that were here,” Warren Central head coach Josh Morgan said.

Big scramble yardage from quarterback Jesse Wilson, two touchdowns from the team’s D.J.’s — Lane and Knight — as well as Joe Shorter helped keep the Vikings in the restless battle of wits.

Wilson scrambled 30 yards for a touchdown to tie the game at 42 with less than two minutes remaining. The touchdown came after Shaunterrance Walton picked up the Vikings’ first down with a reception at Pearl’s 43-yard line.

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The Vikings were able to force the Pirates to two consecutive fourth-and-1 situations in the fourth quarter and held the line each time. After the last one gave Warren Central the ball near midfield with 22 seconds left, Knight took a screen pass 32 yards to the Pearl 11 to set up Wright’s field goal.

“He was trying to win,” Morgan said. “Our defense gave us a chance for a stop there and we went down there, made a play and thank goodness Nick Wright was there to punch it in for us.”

Wilson looked frustrated with the pressure the defense was giving him during the game. In the fourth quarter, he threw a late interception on a screen pass to avoid a sack, which gave the Pirates field position on the 20-yard line.

The upside of his game was that he was able to keep plays alive with his feet all night. He threw a 47-yard pass to Walton for the Vikings’ first score.

“That win came from Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday,” Morgan said before his team cut him off with victory cheers. “Each and every one of you bought in to it and look what happened. It was not perfect, but you fought to the very end.”

Lane showed his ability to run through tackles, needing four Pirates to finally bring him down, on the opening drive. He caught a screen pass for 34 yards to the 3-yard line, only for the Vikings to fumble on the snap and turn the ball over.

Lane had a 3-yard touchdown run in the second quarter.

“D.J. Lane had a great practice and he played like he practiced. He had a really big game for us and we need more of that from him,” Morgan said.

Knight picked up big yards in the fourth quarter, rushing for much-needed first downs. He had a 5-yard carry on the left side of the field and muscled his way into the end zone. Liam Hopson set up field position with a 20-yard reception to move the ball inside the 10.

Pearl was able to score on the ground and in the air.

Jared Patterson had a 50-yard touchdown reception to put the Pirates up 28-21. Le’Darius Carpenter was able to make plays on the ground as well, scrambling for several long gains. Thomas Cameron was the Pirates’ leading rusher and scored in the fourth to give them a 42-35 lead.

The Vikings had a personal foul call, a false start, three holding penalties and three fumbled snaps.

“We’re still a growing team and we coach our guys: whatever comes at you, go to the next play, keep fighting and keep playing football,” Morgan said.