Vikings vanquish VHS

Published 7:00 am Sunday, December 3, 2017

Warren Central rose from a morning fog, literally and figuratively, to add an easy win to its record on Saturday.

Dequarian Buck had three goals and an assist, Josh Griffin, Ian Gordon and Braylen Greer each scored twice, and the Vikings romped over crosstown rival Vicksburg 10-0. Warren Central was playing about 13 hours after losing to Northwest Rankin on Friday night, but shook off that defeat with a dominating effort in which five different players scored a goal.

It was the Vikings’ 10th consecutive win over Vicksburg (0-6-1) since 2011. The last six have been shutouts.

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“We were a little sore, but I think we handled it OK. It’s good to keep playing often,” Greer said. “We don’t want to have a long break in between games. We just wanted to get the job done, get our JV in, and get the win that we should.”

Vicksburg was never really in the game — Warren Central scored nine times in the first half, including five goals in the first 17 minutes — but did have a few chances to score.

The Gators had two shots on goal in the first two minutes, and also a penalty kick attempt early in the second half. WC keeper Chase Graham stopped the early shots, and the PK by Bryan Cothran scudded wide to the right.

“We have a lot of young guys that have never played before, but we’re growing and we’re getting a lot better. It didn’t show today, but we’re improving and that’s all I can ask for,” first-year Vicksburg coach Destin Ellis said. “There’s a lot of things that we did wrong. We’re not hustling up and down the field. But overall, I think we’re growing as a team.”

The bigger problem for the Gators was a porous defense that allowed the Vikings to score almost at will.

In the second minute, Sean Dixon’s shot was stopped by VHS keeper Haden Wise, but Greer followed up for an easy rebound goal. Graham Tweedle scored on a breakaway in the seventh minute, Greer got his second goal in the ninth and Griffin scored two in the 15th and 17 minutes to make it 5-0 before the last of a thick morning fog had burned off the pitch.

“This is the worst my defense has played all year. Usually, we get back and we don’t give up 10 goals a game,” Ellis said. “(Warren Central) executed perfect. Their through balls were perfect through balls and they were outhustling us. They were beating us to the balls and winning the balls.”

The big lead allowed Warren Central to clear the bench early and avoid the kind of fatigue that might have set in had they needed to play the starters at a high pace for 80 minutes just hours after a tough game the night before.

Coach Greg Head inserted his junior varsity in a mass substitution around the 20-minute mark of the first half, but they did just as well as the varsity. Buck completed his hat trick by halftime, and also assisted on one by Gordon as the Vikings pushed the lead to 9-0.

The second half was cut short by agreement of both coaches, but Buck assisted on another goal by Gordon to make it 10-0 before the final whistle blew.

“We got the soreness out from last night, and it was a good game in that we got to let everybody play,” Head said. “One of the things we’re facing is we don’t have a lot of depth, and we need to develop that depth. This is a game to do that. I hate it for (Vicksburg), but that helps us.”

(B) Vicksburg 3, Greenville 3

Greg Hayden scored two goals and Anthony Bowen netted one, but Greenville got the last goal of the day and salvaged a tie in a wild back-and-forth affair Saturday at Memorial Stadium.

Playing in the second half of a split doubleheader following their loss to Warren Central, the Gators jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first half. Greenville tied it before halftime, however, and the teams played to a stalemate for most of the second half.

Hayden finally broke the ties by converting a penalty kick with 10 minutes left. Greenville, however, broke through the VHS defense with a long pass and goal to tie it at 3 with about five minutes to go and that’s how it ended.

Vicksburg will open its Region 4-5A schedule Tuesday at Callaway. The girls’ game is scheduled for 5:30 p.m., and the boys at 7.

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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