Vikings ease past Vicksburg on the soccer pitch

Published 9:41 am Wednesday, December 6, 2023

It might not have been quite as decisive as it’s been for most of the past decade-plus, but Warren Central’s boys’ soccer team still did not have a lot of trouble beating its crosstown rival.

Four different players had goals, and Warren Central scored twice late in the first half and twice more early in the second to beat Vicksburg High 4-0 on Tuesday.

Warren Central (7-3, 1-0 MHSAA Region 2-6A) beat Vicksburg (1-7-2, 0-1) for the 17th consecutive time. It was the Vikings’ 12th shutout in a streak that dates back to 2011.

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“It was good, bad and ugly. We’re running a new formation. We changed things up to get more attack. So we did some good things. It works out for us,” Warren Central coach Greg Head said. “But we did some bad things and ugly things, too. (Vicksburg) has gotten a lot better and I think we take them too lightly sometimes, and we almost paid for it.”

The game was scoreless until late in the first half, when Luke Bond headed in a corner kick from Laney Lewis in the 29th minute. Jacob Porter then fed Tyler Godshaw a nice pass on a 2-on-1 breakaway in the 32nd minute, and Godshaw finished for a 2-0 halftime lead.

On the other side of the break, Daniel Wescott bombed in a shot from 30 yards out in the 45th minute and Jonah Artman converted a flubbed goal kick into a short breakaway goal in the 51st to make it 4-0.

Warren Central outshot Vicksburg 13-1 and took six corner kicks. Vicksburg had a couple of isolated breakaway chances — keeper Colby Solomon made a great leaping save to deny Braylon Green midway through the second half — but nearly the entire game was played on Vicksburg’s side of the field.

“Just outmatched. The boys hustled. We gave it everything we could. We’re not where we’re going to be a year from now, and they’re still progressing. I’m proud of them,” Vicksburg coach Maurice Gilliam said. “They stayed in it and they kept their head up, and they played until the last whistle blew.”

Head was pleased with his group as well. He said the Vikings were experimenting with a new offensive formation designed to generate more offense, which naturally comes with starts and stops. Overall, he liked the way they handled it as the region schedule began.

Warren Central will be at home against Columbus Friday at 5:30 p.m., while Vicksburg travels to Neshoba Central.

“We have to work some kinks out,” Head said. “We’re bunching up too much and our outside wingers are not making good runs in. It’s just something on a new formation we have to work through.”

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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