Vikings notch a signature win

Published 2:36 am Saturday, October 17, 2015

There are signature wins that teams get by winning big games, and then there are those like Warren Central’s romp over Murrah on Friday night that deserve the same label for an entirely different reason.

The Vikings scored a touchdown on defense, rushed for 255 yards, came within 90 seconds of a shutout — all traits that have come to identify this year’s version of the team — in a 35-6 win at Viking Stadium.

“That says we can hold up. If we do our job, I think we can hold up to anybody in the state,” said WC defensive back Kamren Ellis, who ended a second-quarter drive with his third interception of the season.

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Warren Central (7-1, 4-0 Region 2-6A) won its seventh consecutive game and, combined with losses by Madison Central and Northwest Rankin, clinched a playoff berth for the fourth straight year. WC beat Murrah for the 11th time in the last 12 meetings.

Up next are back-to-back games with Clinton (6-2, 4-0) and Starkville (7-1, 4-0) that will determine whether the Vikings become region champions, host a first-round playoff game, or have to go on the road for the first round.

“It feels like since we’re going into those tough games, we’ve just got to get better at what we do. Run the ball, let the pass game follow it, and all of that,” WC quarterback Jesse Wilson said.

Friday’s win over Murrah (3-5, 1-3) was the sort WC has been perfecting all year.

Its 255 rushing yards were divided evenly between running backs D.J. Knight (34 yards), D.J. Lane (113 yards and two TDs) and Demarcus Jones (81 yards), as well as quarterback Jesse Wilson (one rushing touchdown).

Lane and Wilson each had a short rushing touchdown in the first half, and Jones put the exclamation point on the victory with a zigging, zagging 49-yard burst on the second play of the fourth quarter that made it 28-0.

Lane had a 55-yard run on Warren Central’s next drive, and capped it off with a 1-yard plunge for a 35-0 lead.

The Vikings’ defense was equally impressive as it came up with big plays at the perfect time.

Murrah held the ball for a whopping 33 minutes and 8 seconds, yet didn’t score until Steven Mitchell threw a 29-yard touchdown pass to Jamario Dixon with 1:22 left in the game.

Two long drives ended on downs, and another with an interception by Ellis. WC also scored a defensive touchdown — its eighth of the season on defense or special teams — when defensive back Byron Galvin scooped up a fumble and returned it 4 yards to the end zone.

“When I saw it I just picked it up and gave it my all,” Galvin said. “Coach always tells us you’ve got to score on defense. Defense wins games.”

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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