Vikings dominate No. 1 Clinton
Published 1:10 am Saturday, October 22, 2016
Viking Stadium was the epicenter of the Mississippi high school football world on Friday.
It was also the epicenter of an earthquake that rocked that world to its core.
No. 4 Warren Central raced out to a stunning 27-point lead at halftime and never let up against No. 1 Clinton, shaking and pummeling the Arrows all night long in a 50-32 victory.
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Demarcus Jones ran for 131 yards and four touchdowns for Warren Central (8-1, 4-1 Region 2-6A) and Jesse Wilson added 149 yards and two touchdowns on the ground. The Vikings handed Clinton (8-1, 4-1) its first loss of the season and moved into a three-way tie atop Region 2-6A along with Madison Central.
Madison Central (6-3-1, 4-1) beat Callaway 23-13 on Friday.
“I felt confident coming into the week, but it was better than I could imagine,” Warren Central defensive lineman Caleb Boyett said. “It’s the best game of the year for us. We were solid on both sides. Solid as we’ve probably been all year.”
Clinton quarterback Cam Akers had a big night statistically, but other than for a brief moment in the third quarter his Arrows were never really in the game.
Akers completed 17 of 34 passes for 266 yards and a touchdown, and ran for 154 yards and a touchdown. He also threw an interception on Clinton’s first offensive snap and lost two fumbles in the first half. Warren Central converted all of the turnovers into points and led 30-3 at halftime.
“We had experience playing them last year with Cam and (running back Darius) Maberry, so we relied off of that,” Boyett said. “Our defense is really built for their offense. We practice with a really good running and passing quarterback of our own. We were aware of what he was capable of, but we were prepared for that.”
Akers and the Arrows did make a push in the third quarter. They took the second half kickoff and drove down the field for a 5-yard touchdown run by Akers, and then forced Warren Central to go three-and-out on its next two possessions. Maberry’s 5-yard touchdown run late in the third quarter cut it to 30-17, and with their explosive offense it looked like the Arrows might somehow sneak back into it.
On the ensuing kickoff following Maberry’s touchdown, kicker Walker Burchfield dribbled a surprise onsides kick and recovered it. He touched it before it went the required 10 yards, however, and Warren Central took over at midfield.
The Vikings took advantage of the short field to score on a 15-yard run by Jones. That was followed by a quick three-and-out by Clinton and another scoring drive by WC. Jesse Wilson threw a short pass that Corey Wilson, Jr. turned into a 68-yard gain to the Clinton 7-yard line. Jesse Wilson ran it in two plays later, giving the Vikings two touchdowns in less than two minutes, a 43-17 lead, and most importantly control back.
Clinton scored twice more, but the Vikings also got a touchdown run from Jones and stayed comfortably in front the rest of the way.
“There were several big moments in there. The touchdown where we respond after they scored two was huge. The onside kicks, we recovered two of them and they got the third but it didn’t go 10 yards,” Warren Central coach Josh Morgan said. “There were so many big moments in the game, but the big thing was we were able to rally back and get the momentum back.”