Vikings trying to maintain the momentum

Published 9:10 am Thursday, September 3, 2015

Sound the horns — it’s time for Vicksburg’s premiere football rivalry.

While the Red Carpet Bowl brought the city together for individual reasons, the River City Classic will divide it.

Archrivals Warren Central and Vicksburg will meet for the 35th time Friday night at 7 at WC’s Viking Stadium.

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“It’s mighty important to the community from both sides,” Warren Central head coach Josh Morgan said. “It’s two schools in the same school district, big fan bases and it’s a fun game. It’ll be a lot of passionate fans.”

Both the Vikings and Gators are coming off wins, adding fuel to a prideful flame between them. Vicksburg is undefeated and has only given up 19 points all season. Warren Central claimed its first victory last week over Pearl, 45-42, in a game decided by a last-second field goal.

Throughout the week, the main focus in the Vikings’ locker room has been on doing a better job taking care of the football, running the ball and stopping the run. Morgan told his players they need to play hard, execute the game plan and let everything else take care of itself.

“We have to be better up front, have to be better tacklers and continue to run to the football. At the same time we’ve got to be very careful that they don’t get behind us and make the big plays,” Morgan said.

Each team has strengths and weaknesses for the other to exploit.

The Vikings had trouble stopping the run against their first two opponents, giving up a total of 413 yards on the ground. However, they were able to steadily move the ball for 160 yards on Pearl. WC scored three rushing touchdowns against Pearl, although no individual player had more than 40 yards.

Morgan wants the balanced effort he saw against Pearl to carry over to Vicksburg.

“Moving forward, it’s going to take those kind of efforts,” Morgan said. “We have to play as a team and understand all three phases.”

Vicksburg head coach Marcus Rogers has put a lot of faith in running the football behind Timothy Jackson. The Gators’ defense has only allowed 19 points.

“Vicksburg is doing a good job at being balanced, running the ball and making big plays in the passing game,” Morgan said. “We’re trying to figure out what they do best and try to slow them down. They have a very good football team.”

The Vikings have been flowing through offseason conditioning and the regular season with a “one game at a time” philosophy, but Morgan knows his players are excited to get a chance at the Gators.

Warren Central has won the last three meetings between the teams, after losing the previous five.

“They’ve done a good job of going week-to-week and this just happens to be that week. They always get pumped up for this game, know a lot of the guys playing for Vicksburg and makes it that much more competitive,” Morgan said.

The rivalry between the Gators and the Vikings is known for having an electric atmosphere and intense gameplay. Morgan said it’s a good thing for players on both sidelines to experience, and he expects a hard-fought game.

“We know this game is going to be intense. Vicksburg is 2-0, got a ton of momentum, so we’re expecting a hard fought game for four quarters,” Morgan said.

Vicksburg at Warren Central

Friday, 7 p.m.

Radio: 1490 AM (Vicksburg) and 105.5 FM (Warren Central)

Online: For live scoring updates on Friday night, visit and