Greatest on the Gridiron: ’70 Temple vs. ’16 Warren Central

Published 9:05 am Sunday, July 5, 2020

It’s hard to say if the last of Temple’s three consecutive undefeated teams was its best, but it gets the nod as the No. 1 seed in the Flashes Region for the way it finished.

With a reported 10,000-plus fans in attendance, the Buccaneers beat New Orleans power St. Augustine 6-0 in the 1970 Red Carpet Bowl. It was the first time two black high schools played in the iconic game, and also marked the end of an era. Temple was closed at the end of the 1970-71 school year and its student body merged with all-white Cooper High School to mark the end of school segregation in Vicksburg.

The Red Carpet Bowl victory extended Temple’s unbeaten streak to 39 games, a Warren County record.

(1) 1970 Temple vs. (8) 2016 Warren Central

  • 1970 Temple (71%, 82 Votes)
  • 2016 Warren Central (29%, 34 Votes)

Total Voters: 116

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The 2016 Warren Central Vikings, meanwhile, are one of the few teams in the Greatest on the Gridiron bracket that did not at least reach the state semifinals. Nevertheless, they were among the county’s best from the past decade.

The 2016 Vikings finished 10-3, with the three losses by a total of 16 points, and boasted three 1,000-yard rushers. The final loss was a heartbreaking 27-21 overtime defeat to current NFL running back Cam Akers and the eventual Class 6A champion Clinton Arrows — a team Warren Central had beaten 50-32 in the regular season — in the second round of the playoffs.

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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