Vikings hit the road for first time vs. Neville

Published 7:55 am Friday, September 7, 2018

Twice this season, the Warren Central Vikings have packed up the equipment trucks, put on their white road jerseys, and left Viking Stadium to play a game.

This week, however, will be the first time they’ve left home to do it.

The Vikings will head west across the Mississippi River to take on Monroe’s Neville High School in an interstate showdown. It’s the first true road game this season for Warren Central — its first two were across town at Vicksburg High School — and the first time it has played a game in Louisiana since 1998.

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“We’re used to traveling and these things that go with it,” Warren Central coach Josh Morgan said. “The tough thing is, Neville is a tough place to play and a tough atmosphere to play in. It’ll be interesting to see how we handle it. It’s an us against the world mentality when we go over there.”

This is the second meeting between the teams. The first was last season, when Warren Central won 17-7 at Viking Stadium. That was only the fourth regular-season loss since 2011 for Neville, which went on to finish 8-5 and reach the Louisiana Class 4A quarterfinals.

The Tigers dropped their season opener last week, 41-7 to Ruston, but remain as dangerous as ever, Morgan said.

“They’re a well-rounded football team, and they’re going to pose a threat for us,” Morgan said. “They’re big, physical, have good athletes, and what they do defensively is crowd the box and man up on the outside. They try to take away the run, and of course that’s our strength. That’s something we have to adapt to.”

In that sense, this could be a game that forces Warren Central out of its comfort zone yet benefits the team in the long run.

Warren Central has averaged 286.5 rushing yards in its first two games, and was heading for a similar number when its opener against Oxford was shortened by severe weather early in the third quarter. By contrast, it has thrown for a total of 182 yards and attempted only 28 passes.

Possibly having to go away from its bread and butter might allow Warren Central to work out some kinks in the passing game and show the offense can be multi-dimensional.

“Right now we know we can run the football and we’ve done extremely well at stopping the run. You can win a lot of football games doing that,” Morgan said. “But to be a great team we have to bring that other stuff along.”

This week also marks a key checkpoint in Warren Central’s season. It has an open date next week, and then faces Northwest Rankin on Sept. 21 in the Region 2-6A opener.

The WC-Northwest Rankin game has often had major ramifications on the Region 2-6A playoff race, so it’s important to come out of this Friday night with some positive momentum, Morgan said.

“That goes a long way, having success going into your bye week,” Morgan said. “There has to be a sense of urgency to it. In our district, every game matters and we have to be peaking when we get there. So this game is a big one.”

All games start at 7 p.m.

Warren Central at Neville (La.) (Radio: 105.5 FM)
Porter’s Chapel at Central Private (Radio: 104.5 FM)
Washington School at St. Aloysius (Radio: 101.3 FM)
Port Gibson at Terry
Germantown at Clinton
Sharkey-Issaquena Academy at Marvell Academy
Briarfield Academy at Tallulah Academy
Central Hinds at Glenbrook
Madison Parish at Delhi Charter

For live game updates and full coverage on Friday night, visit,, and

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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