Warren Central renews old rivalry with Madison Central

Published 2:30 pm Thursday, September 21, 2023

Before it embarks on a new-look region schedule, Warren Central is taking one last chance to visit an old friend.

The Vikings go on the road Friday night to play Madison Central to renew a slumbering rivalry. The teams played each other every year from 1995 to 2020, but moved to different regions in 2021 and have not met the past two seasons.

“It’s fun to prepare for. We’ve traditionally had good games with them, competitive games,” Warren Central coach Josh Morgan said. “They’re going to be well-coached and a very good football team. One of those teams you anticipate making a deep run come playoff time. It’ll be a really big challenge for us. It challenges us to play our best, and that’s what we’re looking for.”

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The Vikings (2-2) are also looking for another quality win heading into the start of region play in October. Their two losses were in overtime at Pearl, and last week at home to Brandon.

Madison Central (3-1) lost 28-21 to Northwest Rankin in its last outing. Three of the Jaguars’ four games have been decided by a total of 10 points.

The close results for both teams, Morgan said, show how slim the margin is between success and failure at the highest levels of Mississippi high school football.

“Everybody can beat everybody. That’s just the truth of it when you’re playing these schedules like a lot of us are. We can beat anybody, and anybody we play can beat us right now,” Morgan said. “The margin for error is slim so it really requires us to be at our best and pay attention to details. It makes us self-aware and trying to get better. It’s nothing but good.”

Warren Central will compete in Class 6A when the region schedule starts, but Madison Central will be its fifth consecutive Class 7A opponent. It’s not unfamiliar territory for the Vikings — this is the first time since the MHSAA adopted its classification system in the early 1980s that they have not been in the largest class — but it’s still been a difficult gauntlet to run.

Because of that, Morgan wasn’t stressing about being .500 heading into the non-region finale. He’s looking at the bigger picture, and seeing in his team a skilled squad that is on its way to being a championship contender.

“The biggest thing that jumps off the page is experience,” Morgan said. “We’re learning a lot against high quality opponents about what we can do and what we can’t do. I think we’re still in that process in certain areas. We’re trying to find that right combination of personnel and play-calling on both sides of the football.”

All games start at 7 p.m.
Yazoo City at Vicksburg High (Radio: 107.7 FM)
Warren Central at Madison Central (Radio: 105.5 FM)
Tensas Academy at Porter’s Chapel (Radio: 104.5 FM)
St. Aloysius at Central Hinds (Radio: 101.3 FM)
Crystal Springs at Port Gibson
Tallulah Academy at Prairie View Academy
Briarfield at Sharkey-Issaquena Academy
Ferriday at Madison Parish

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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