Vikings beat Terry in preseason tuneup

Published 8:00 am Saturday, August 11, 2018

Warren Central will get a much stiffer test next Friday, in its regular-season opener against Oxford, than it did in its preseason jamboree vs. Terry. It still got a passing grade from its coach.

John William Madison kicked two field goals and Warren Central piled up 124 rushing yards as it beat Terry 6-0 in the two-quarter scrimmage Friday at Viking Stadium.

There were a few miscues, like the fumble that thwarted a potential scoring drive and some misfires in the passing game, but was overall a solid performance, head coach Josh Morgan said.

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“We did some good stuff, did some bad stuff. We didn’t get to necessarily look at all the special teams because it was only two quarters, and there were some things we’d like to get a better look at, but overall I’m pleased. I’m glad we got it in so we could work on our mistakes and get better,” Morgan said.

The good included the running game and defense.

The Vikings averaged 6.2 yards per carry and had a balanced attack. Corey Wilson, Jr., led the team with 49 yards on four carries, Jerrious Stovall ran it six times for 46 yards and R.J. Hughes had 30 yards on six attempts.

Quarterback Antonio Thompson was hit for losses three times in the first quarter, but had a 17-yard run on the game’s final drive to set up a 23-yard field goal by Madison. Thompson’s run gave the Vikings a first-and-goal at the Terry 7-yard line, but with only 4 seconds left Morgan opted to bring on the field goal team instead of going for a touchdown.

One of the few blemishes on offense was a first-quarter fumble by Hughes. He appeared to be on the brink of a big gain inside the Terry 40, only to have the ball knocked out. Terry recovered it.
The Vikings were also flat in the passing game. Thompson and Shane Lewis were a combined 5-for-15 for 60 yards, with no touchdowns and no interceptions.

WC’s receivers dropped two passes, including one by Wilson in the end zone, and two high or mishandled snaps resulted in losses. None of that seemed to concern Morgan too much, though.

“I thought we moved the ball well. We had a turnover when we were fixing to go in and score. Our ones played really good defensively, and our twos gave us some good reps too, and we played a lot of guys. It’s about teaching moments right here,” Morgan said. If we’re repetitive and keep making the same mistakes, then we have a problem. But we knew we were going to have some hiccups and misalignments and miscommunication type stuff. I thought we were pretty sharp overall, so I’m very, very pleased.”

Defensively, the Vikings gave Morgan plenty of reason to smile. They forced three-and-outs on Terry’s first two possessions and held the Bulldogs to 49 total yards and four first downs in two quarters.
Out of the 19 plays that Terry ran, 14 resulted in gains of two yards or less. Its deepest penetration was the Warren Central 40-yard line. Anthony Cooper and Chris Greene each had a sack.

“We want to lean on our defense, especially early, and we ought to be able to,” Morgan said. “We’ve got a good, veteran unit. We expect them to be very good. They were just being quick and physical off the ball. I thought we were faster and a little more physical up front, and I thought we tackled well.”

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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