Vikings trying to earn home playoff game vs. Clinton

Published 9:05 am Thursday, October 22, 2015

Whatever happens between Clinton and Warren Central Friday night will have a ripple effect on Region 2-6A. The winner of this game will be in the driver’s seat for a home playoff game and the region championship.

The Vikings and the Arrows are tied with Starkville for first place, and Friday’s game in Clinton is the start of a three-game round-robin series among them. Starkville (7-1, 4-0 Region 2-6A) will visit Warren Central (7-1, 4-0) next week, then Clinton (6-2, 4-0) in the regular-season finale Nov. 6.

“As far as playoff pictures, it doesn’t get any bigger than this,” Warren Central coach Josh Morgan said. “Both of us are tied for first in our district, along with Starkville, so it carries a lot of weight. Plus it’s going to be against one of our biggest rivals.”

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The Vikings won’t pretend to be a different team against Clinton.

They will continue to do what’s worked for them and got them to this point in the season, which is run the football, dominate the line of scrimmage, have good quarterback play, convert on third down, play well on defense and have good special teams.

“If we can play good defensively and contain all of the firepower they have on the offensive side of the ball, we’ll have a good chance to win the ballgame,” Morgan said. “We’re going to play hard, be extremely tough and our guys are going to be ready for this type of ballgame.”

Clinton has shown it likes to throw and pass the ball as much as, if not more, than the Vikings do. The Arrows have 1,608 passing yards, with 18 touchdowns to only four interceptions. In addition to a dynamic aerial attack, the Arrows are a problem on the ground as well with 2,146 rushing yards.

Quarterback Cam Akers is the team’s primary offensive weapon. The junior has already committed to Alabama, and has accounted for more than 2,300 yards of total offense (1,477 passing and 985 rushing) and 26 touchdowns this season.

Running back Darius Maberry also has 960 yards and nine touchdowns.

In comparison, the Vikings have 1,001 yards in the air, with nine touchdowns and six interceptions. They’ve also rushed for 1,683 yards, with D.J. Knight the team leader with 594 yards and nine touchdowns.

The Arrows’ ability to gain a lot of yards in a lot of ways is something Warren Central’s defense has taken notice of.

“They have two 800-yard rushers. That’s a lot of yards,” Morgan said. “They do well through the air as well, probably the best player in Mississippi on their team and the best in the nation at quarterback. They’re very balanced, we have to play our style of defense and be really good at it.”

The Vikings know nothing is going to be given to them and they have to earn it.

“If they don’t do that then we won’t be successful,” Morgan said. “Our kids, what’s gotten them to this point, is a lot of hard work and toughness. That’s been our identity for a long time.”

Warren Central at Clinton

Friday, 7 p.m.

Radio: 105.5 FM

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