Warren Central drops overtime thriller to Pearl

Published 12:42 am Saturday, September 2, 2023

PEARL — A spirited comeback wasn’t quite enough for Warren Central.

The Vikings rallied from a 10-point deficit in the second half to force overtime, but Pearl scored a touchdown and a two-point conversion to win 25-24 on Friday night.

Pearl quarterback Jack Durr threw two touchdown passes to Kingi McNair, and then ran in the game-winning conversion in the first overtime period.

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“Hate to lose. Not used to that, don’t want to get used to it,” Warren Central coach Josh Morgan said.

Durr’s touchdown passes to McNair covered 33 and 15 yards. The second one put the Pirates (2-0) ahead 17-7 in the third quarter, but Warren Central struck back to tie it.

Freshman quarterback Nash Morgan threw a 40-yard touchdown pass to Zack Evans, and sophomore kicker Jonah Artman booted a 39-yard field goal to knot the score at 17.

The Vikings got the ball first in overtime and took the lead on Eric Collins Jr.’s 10-yard touchdown run. Artman’s PAT made it 24-17, but Pearl responded with a 7-yard TD run by Antwuane Shoto to get back within a point.

The Pirates opted to go for two and the win, and Durr ran it in for both. Morgan said he wasn’t surprised that the Pirates tried to end the game then and there.

“No surprise there. We blocked a field goal earlier that they called us offsides for, and I thought they might try to get out of there,” Morgan said. “They had a good play and executed it. We could’ve done a better job of defending it.”

Warren Central’s other touchdown was a 36-yard pass from Maddox Lynch to Jaylon Winters in the first quarter.

This was the ninth meeting between the teams since 2015, and the seventh that was decided by seven points or less. Although he didn’t like being on the wrong side of the result, Morgan said being in a tight game and having to fight through some adversity did at least accomplish part of what he wants during the non-region part of the schedule.

“These things are really good for us,” Morgan said. “Our whole non-district schedule is good football. You can’t get better if you don’t have those opportunities to see what you need to get better at.”