Vikings rally in second half to beat Murrah

Published 12:13 am Saturday, October 13, 2018

Warren Central was supposed to win Friday night against Murrah, and it did.

It was just a little bit tougher to do it than most people expected.

Antonio Thompson threw two touchdown passes and ran for another score — all in the second half — as the Vikings rallied to beat Murrah 39-18 for a crucial region win.

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Warren Central trailed 18-10 at halftime and then scored 29 unanswered points in the second half.

“It’s good to get a win and survive that,” Warren Central coach Josh Morgan said. “It’s a survive and advance mentality. We played a good second half and the kids responded well.”

The Vikings (3-4, 2-2 Region 2-6A) host No. 9 Clinton next week, and then travel to No. 5 Starkville on Oct. 26 in a pair of games they must win to salvage their playoff hopes. Murrah (2-6, 1-3) is not considered a playoff contender, but beating them was a must for Warren Central to keep pace with the top half of the region.

Warren Central beat the Mustangs for the seventh consecutive time, and for the 23rd time in 25 meetings since 1991.

“It was a really big win. It buys us more time, gets us to 2-2 in the district and sets us up for another big game next week,” Morgan said.

Murrah had scored a total of 19 points in its previous five meetings with the Vikings, but stunned them by nearly matching that total in the first half Friday. Demarcus Clincy scored two touchdowns and set up another with a long run inside the 5-yard line as the Mustangs took an 18-10 lead into halftime.

“(Murrah) came out with some new personnel and did some things differently that we hadn’t seen. We had a case of the lulls in the first half, too. It was a cumulation of things,” Morgan said. “They had some explosive running backs. We missed two field goals that it felt like would have gotten us some breathing room. We just didn’t play very well.”

The Vikings’ comeback started immediately in the second half, however. They took the second half kickoff and drove down the field for the tying points. Thompson scored on a 10-yard run and added a two-point conversion run to knot it up at 18.

A short punt gave Warren Central the ball at the Murrah 40-yard line midway through the third quarter, and Thompson threw a 9-yard touchdown pass to Chris Green for the Vikings’ first lead of the game.

Thompson threw another touchdown pass on a bubble screen to Demond Patton in the fourth quarter, and Kentrick Thompson closed the scoring on a 2-yard run with 1:35 left in the game.

Jerrious Stovall scored Warren Central’s first touchdown on an 85-yard run in the first quarter. John William Madison kicked a 27-yard field goal in the second and was 4-for-4 on PATs in the game to remain perfect this season.

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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