Vikings up to No. 2 in AP poll

Published 9:03 am Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Warren Central’s big win over Clinton last week sent it rocketing up the polls, but not quite all the way to the top.

The Vikings are ranked No. 2 in this week’s Mississippi Associated Press overall and Class 6A football polls. They received one first-place vote in both polls from the 12-member panel of statewide media.

Undefeated Tupelo (9-0), which was ranked No. 2 in both polls last week, moved into the top spot following a 33-13 win over DeSoto Central. It’s the first time since 1992 that the Golden Wave has been ranked No. 1, a school spokesman told the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal. Tupelo won the Class 5A championship in 1992.

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Warren Central knocked off then-No. 1 and previously-unbeaten Clinton 50-32 last Friday at Viking Stadium. Warren Central (8-1) was ranked No. 6 in the overall poll and No. 4 in Class 6A last week, but was a solid No. 2 in both polls this time.

Warren Central had been as high as No. 3 earlier this season before losing to Madison Central on Oct. 7.

“Our program has gotten better and better,” said Warren Central coach Josh Morgan, whose team lost 19 of 22 games after he took over in 2010 but is 41-17 since the start of the 2012 season. “It is truly a work in progress, and we’ve had so many coachable moments along the way. The players have great moments, and then others have come along and taken the torch from them, and the coaches have put in a lot of hard work.”

Brandon (8-2) was No. 3 in the overall poll, which ranks the top 10 teams regardless of classification. Clinton dropped to a fourth-place tie with West Point, St. Stanislaus was sixth, Madison Central seventh, and then Picayune, Laurel and Northwest Rankin rounded out the top 10.

In the Class 6A poll, Clinton was third, Brandon fourth and Northwest Rankin fifth. Madison Central and Horn Lake also received votes.

Madison Central (6-3-1) and Northwest Rankin (7-3) play each other this Friday. Warren Central travels to face defending Class 6A champion Starkville in another key game in Region 2-6A.

Vicksburg High received 15 votes in the Class 5A poll, placing it eighth among teams that got votes. West Point received 11 first-place votes and held on to its No. 1 ranking. Picayune got one first-place vote to help it into the No. 2 spot, just one point ahead of No. 3 Laurel. Hattiesburg (8-1) and Stone (7-2) rounded out the top five.

In the other class polls, St. Stanislaus was No. 1 in Class 4A, Hazlehurst in Class 3A, Bassfield in 2A, Hollandale Simmons in 1A, and Presbyterian Christian in the MAIS poll. All were ranked No. 1 last week as well.

Mississippi AP football poll

1. Tupelo (9-0)
2. Warren Central (8-1)
3. Brandon (8-2)
4. Clinton (8-1)
(tie) West Point (9-1)
6. St. Stanislaus (8-1)
7. Madison Central (6-3-1)
8. Picayune (8-1)
8. Laurel (8-1)
10. Northwest Rankin (7-3)

Class 6A
1. Tupelo (9-0)
2. Warren Central (8-1)
3. Clinton (8-1)
4. Brandon (8-2)
5. Northwest Rankin (7-3)
Others receiving votes: Madison Cent. 30, Horn Lake 7.

Class 5A
1. West Point  (8-1)
2. Picayune (1) (8-1)
3. Laurel (8-1)
4. Hattiesburg (8-1)
5. Stone (7-2)
Others receiving votes: Oxford 19, Grenada 19, Vicksburg 15, Clarksdale 6.

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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