Warren Central snaps skid by beating Greenville

Published 2:10 am Saturday, September 29, 2018

GREENVILLE -— Warren Central did a lot of things it hadn’t done lately.

It threw some passes. It scored on special teams, and with some long plays on offense.

It won.

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R.J. Hughes scored three touchdowns, Jerrious Stovall added two, and the Vikings snapped a two-game losing streak by routing Greenville 49-8.

“We got the ball first and started fast. We started well and continued to play well,” Warren Central coach Josh Morgan said. “I think we punted one time all night. We had explosive plays and did well on special teams. We played very well in all three phases.”

The Vikings (2-3, 1-1 Region 2-6A) were a heavy favorite to beat Greenville (1-5, 0-2), but still picked up a win they desperately needed to stay in the Region 2-6A playoff chase. Warren Central will host Madison Central (5-1, 2-0) next week in a crucial game between perennial contenders.

“It’s a big game. There’s no way around it,” Morgan said of the matchup with Madison. “We’re going to approach it with that mentality. We know it’s a playoff team we’re facing, and we’re battling to get in period. It’s an opportunity for another big game at home.”

Before the showdown with Madison Central, the Vikings took the opportunity to have a little fun at the expense of a Greenville team they’ve now beaten in 24 out of 25 all-time meetings.

The game’s opening drive was capped by a 2-yard touchdown run by offensive guard George Owens.

Warren Central’s Jalen Love intercepted a pass on Greenville’s first possession — after a long completion was wiped out by a holding penalty — to set up a 65-yard touchdown pass from Antonio Thompson to running back Corey Wilson. It was only the third touchdown pass of the season for Warren Central, and first in three games.

Hughes scored on a 3-yard run late in the first quarter, and Stovall scored on runs of 2 and 65 yards in the second to give the Vikings a 35-0 lead at halftime. Stovall’s first touchdown was set up when the Vikings recovered a bobbled punt snap deep in Greenville territory.

Morgan said the big plays, something the Vikings had trouble producing during their losing streak, were a welcome sight.

“They sure make everything easy,” he said with a laugh. “The momentum-shifters and big plays, there’s a reason people talk about making them and stopping them.”

Hughes added two more touchdowns of in the second half before Greenville scored one of its own via an offensive lineman in the last minute of the game.

Greenville quarterback Aaron Coats dropped a snap at the WC 3-yard line, but the ball rolled into the end zone. Lineman Johnny Jenkins flopped on it for the touchdown. The Hornets added a two-point conversion off a fake PAT for the final 49-8 margin.

Vicksburg Post news editor Rob Sigler and freelancer Ryne McCallum contributed to this report.