Good times, bad times, it’s time for VHS-WC

Published 9:04 am Thursday, September 3, 2015

Anybody who grew up in Vicksburg or has lived here long enough probably has a story to tell about the annual Vicksburg High-Warren Central football game.

The one that sticks out most to me was one that stunk.

The 2009 edition was won by Vicksburg, 13-7, in double overtime. If it sounds thrilling, it wasn’t.

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The teams combined for nine fumbles on a wet, rainy night. Warren Central had a chance to score on the last play of the first half on a screen pass to the fullback, who was tackled inside the 10-yard line after time expired. The Vikings missed a field goal and couldn’t score from inside the 5 in overtime. Vicksburg almost fumbled away the snap just before it scored the game-winning touchdown.

It was the very definition of the difference between a “good game” and a “good finish.” Neither team played well, nor were they particularly good. Warren Central made the playoffs, but finished the year 6-6. Beating WC was Vicksburg’s only highlight of the season — it finished with a 1-10 record.

From a football aesthetic standpoint, it was basically the equivalent of punching yourself in the groin for three hours.

So what made it so memorable?

The rain. Lots and lots of rain.

As former Warren Central coach Curtis Brewer might have said, only using slightly more colorful language, it was a real toad-floater.

It rained before the game. It rained during the game. It rained after the game. It rained so hard that an hour before kickoff the paint on the field was already washing into the storm drains. By the end, the teams shared the same brown-and-gray color scheme.

There were, maybe, 300 people in the stands for a game that in a bad year will usually draw at least a couple thousand.

Even though the water was high that night, there’s little doubt it was low tide for the 35-year-old crosstown rivalry.

The series has bounced back since then. The games have been competitive and well played. The crowds have returned, and so has the big-game feel.

What was your most memorable Vicksburg-Warren Central game? Head over to our Facebook page ( and share. It’s not a contest, just a fun time — just like this rivalry and football ought to be.

It’ll probably be dry, too.

Ernest Bowker is a sports writer. He can be reached at 601-619-7120, or at

About Ernest Bowker

Ernest Bowker is The Vicksburg Post's sports editor. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post's sports staff since 1998, making him one of the longest-tenured reporters in the paper's 140-year history. The New Jersey native is a graduate of LSU. In his career, he has won more than 50 awards from the Mississippi Press Association and Associated Press for his coverage of local sports in Vicksburg.

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