Jones sparks Vikings over Lawrence County

Published 5:00 am Monday, August 31, 2009

VICKSBURG -The Warren Central Vikings handled the LawrenceCounty Cougars 34-13 in high school football action Friday night atViking Stadium. Warren Central got a huge night from senior runningback Tim Jones who rushed for 161 yards and 3 touchdowns, andcapped his big night with a 73-yard interception return for atouchdown.

With the win, Warren Central improved to 1-1 on the youngseason, while Lawrence County fell to 1-1. A bigger, strongerViking team gave the visiting Cougars a rough introduction into thenewly created 6A football ranks.

“We just got whipped,” said sixth-year Cougar coach Mike Davis.”No excuses…our kids played hard, but it just wasn’t meant to betonight. Give credit to Warren Central. They’ve got a good footballteam, and they took it to us tonight.”

Warren Central received the opening kickoff. On the Vikings’second play from scrimmage, Jones narrowly escaped being droppedfor a loss, and instead ran for 44 yards. One play later,quarterback Beau Wallace hit Patrick Taylor for 27 yards and atouchdown. Taylor and LCHS cornerback Justin Harris wrestledmightily for the football, and Harris actually came away with itafter a prolonged tussle. But the officials ruled it a simultaneouspossession and a Viking touchdown.

Lawrence County’s first possession, and a big gain on theCougars’ first play, was thwarted by penalty. After the resultingpunt, Warren Central went 66 yards in 13 plays. The big play was a20-yard pass from Wallace to Austin Roberts on third-and-15. Thatset up Jones’ first TD of the night, a 5-yarder. It was 14-0.

The Cougars fumbled the football away on their very next play.Jones took advantage by scoring on a 20-yard run on the first playof the second quarter. The Cougars trailed 20-0 and had only run 5plays from scrimmage.

Lawrence County joined the battle after that tough start,scoring on a Matthew Wells 5-yard run with 21 seconds left in thefirst half. Trevor Havis’ extra point cut the Viking lead to20-7.

The Cougars received the second half kickoff and marched thelength of the field in 15 grinding plays, largely on the strengthof Montgomery and sophomore fullback William Turnage. The 8-minutemarch ended with Warren Central making a fourth-down stop at theViking 8-yard line. That stop largely ended the Cougars’chances.

“If we could have pounded it in there,” Davis said, “we wouldhave at least given ourselves a chance in the fourth quarter. Itwas a good, gutsy drive, against a very good defense. I just wishwe could have finished it off.”

With running mate Josh Cameron sidelined by a twisted ankle, theCougars’ Matthew Wells was largely contained by the Vikings.Fullback William Turnage actually led Lawrence County with 55 yardson 11 carries. Several of the Cougars’ most productive plays werenegated by holding penalties.

With 5:19 left in the game, Jones ran for his third touchdown ofthe night, a 23-yarder. Five plays later, after Adam Watson hadpassed the Cougars into Viking territory, Jones, at cornerback,stepped in front of a Watson pass and raced unmolested down theLCHS sideline for 65 yards and a touchdown.

Havis returned the ensuing kickoff 92 yards for a touchdown forthe final score of the night.

Warren Central outgained the Cougars 342-180 in total offense.Jamie McCardle and Eric Boutte each had 2 receptions for LCHS.Viking quarterback Beau Wallace was extremely efficient, connectingon 5 of 6 pass attempts for 66 yards.

Unofficially, Cougar linebacker Marcus Brown led the team with atotal of 13 tackles. Lakendrick Barnes was credited with 9.Defensive tackle Byron Hammond had 5, and safety Wells had 6.

Lawrence County returns home this Friday to host reigning SouthMississippi 3A champion Tylertown (2-0), a surprise winner at Class6A Ocean Springs.