Meaningless touchdowns aren’t that meaningless

Published 8:57 am Thursday, October 27, 2016

In early October, near the end of what is so far their worst game and only loss of the season, Warren Central might have put together the biggest drive of the year in Region 2-6A.

Trailing 28-19 against Madison Central, the Vikings had a 12-play, 72-yard drive that ended in a 2-yard touchdown run by Jesse Wilson with a minute left. It didn’t factor into the outcome of the game. Madison Central recovered the onside kick, ran out the clock, and left Viking Stadium with a 28-25 victory.

Three weeks and a blowout of Clinton later, that apparently meaningless touchdown looms large.
Warren Central, Clinton and Madison Central are currently in a three-way tie for first place in Region 2-6A. If they all win out, the tiebreaker is point differential between the three teams. Warren Central would win that tiebreaker either way, but its touchdown against Madison Central changed the rest of the standings.

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Clinton is currently in second place when factoring in the tiebreaker, and Madison Central third. If Madison Central had kept Warren Central out of the end zone, it would have leapfrogged Clinton into second place and gotten to host a first-round playoff game. If the standings hold, Madison Central will have to go on the road to South Panola in round one.

Every season is filled with moments like that, which seem inconsequential in the course of that game but come back to help or bite a team later on.

St. Aloysius gave up two fourth-quarter touchdowns in a loss to Hartfield Academy and two more in a win over Manchester Academy. Keeping those teams out of the end zone would have changed the Flashes’ playoff fortunes. Instead of going on the road to Heritage Academy as a wild card team this week, they’d be at home hosting a weaker team in the first round of the MAIS Class AAA playoffs.

Math class is for school, football is for fun, but there is an important lesson to learn here. Every play in every game carries some weight, even if it doesn’t seem like it at the time. Those “meaningless” touchdowns don’t seem that way a few weeks later when everyone starts crunching the numbers.

So, to all the players and coaches out there, remember to never take a play off. Even if there’s nothing to play for but pride, you never know how much you’ll help yourself down the road.

Ernest Bowker is a sports writer for The Vicksburg Post. He can be reached at

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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