VICKSBURG — Warren Central has built its reputation around its stingy defense.
It was no different on Friday night.
The Vikings got two big interceptions and a safety in the second half as Warren Central got past Germantown 23-10 on homecoming at Robert Morgan Field at Viking Stadium in the Region 2-6A opener for both teams.
“We try to be optimistic and be able to win in different phases in the game,” said Warren Central coach Josh Morgan. “We have to win in different ways and ride whatever that is and tonight it was the defense.”
Warren Central (4-0, 1-0 Region 2-6A) will get a forfeit win next week due to Greenville not playing until Oct. 9.
After Germantown’s Monterrius Walker recovered a Warren Central fumble on the Mavericks 12-yard line, Warren Central’s Taylen Smith batted a Colton Gardner pass up the air, came down with the interception and ran seven yards to the end zone to put the Vikings up 21-10 with 9:32 left in the fourth quarter.
“That’s the second time he’s done that this year," Morgan said. "Hands up, and then goes up to make the play and then runs toward the end zone. Just a great all-around play and it was a big one.”
After pinning Germantown at their own 1-yard line with a great punt, Warren Central got a big play out of Jashun Simon, who tackled Maverick running back Nick Barnes in the end zone for a safety to make it 23-10 with 4:44 remaining in the game.
The Vikings ended up with three interceptions - including two by defensive back Tevin Bell.
“We take a lot of pride in defense here and being the best we can every week,” Bell said. “Just had to step up for my team and we got the job done.”
Germantown scored first on a 56-yard run by promising junior running back Branson Robinson with 6:23 left in the first quarter.
Warren Central tied the game at 7-7 on a one-yard quarterback keeper by Kentrick Thompson with 2:46 left in the second quarter.
Thompson finished the game with 66 yards rushing on 20 carries and 118 yards passing.
The Vikings took the lead at 14-7 on their opening drive of the third quarter on an 86-yard run by Tre Hall with 11:04 left. Hall had 119 yards rushing on just five carries.
“We did a good job tonight of taking care of the football and not turning it over,” Warren said. “Wins in this district don’t come easy and every team in our district is a playoff team, so starting out on a good note is big.”
Dylan Wasson added a 24-yard field goal for Germantown to cut the Warren Central lead to 14-10 with 5:10 left in the third quarter.
Robinson had 113 yards on 18 carries to lead the Mavericks (3-1, 0-1).
“You can’t make mistakes and have a bunch of turnovers against a great football team,” said Germantown coach Tim Shramek. “We hit them in the mouth, and they hit us in the mouth. Two really good football teams and against a really good coached football team you cannot make mistakes.”
-- Brandon Shields
(Feature photo by Keith Warren)