Vikings’ preparations pay off with win over Mustangs

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, September 30, 2003

VIDALIA, La. &045; Never one to brag about having plenty of size, those Vidalia Vikings were bracing for the worst when they heard about Winfred Turner.

But thanks to their preparations and mid-game adjustments, the big Avoyelles back was still in minus yards heading into the fourth quarter. That put the hurt on the Mustangs, who struggled offensively the entire game in the Vikings’ 38-0 win Friday night at Viking Field.

The Mustangs had just 92 yards total offense.

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&uot;I thought the defense played an outstanding game,&uot; Vidalia head coach Dee Faircloth said. &uot;When you’re as small as we are, I told my guys, ‘You’re not going to tackle him one on one. You better grab a piece of him and hold on to him as tight as you can before somebody else comes along.’ He’s tough.&uot;

Turner, 6-1, 215-pound senior, lined up in the backfield instead of at quarterback as the Vikings anticipated. But the Mustangs had trouble moving the ball, and a couple quick scores early &045; including the first play of the game &045; put them in the hole and having to hope for a big play to answer quickly.

That didn’t happen, and things went awry in a hurry.

&uot;We knew they would be keying on Winfred,&uot; Avoyelles head coach Matthew Carmouche said.

&uot;We tried to give the ball to some other players a couple of times, but they were stopping them. But they played and executed. We’re real young. I’ve got four guys on offense that never played &045; true freshmen. But credit is due where it is. They’re a real good ball club, and they executed.&uot;

The Mustangs finished with just five first downs as Turner lined up at tailback with Claudis Gwin at quarterback. They got past midfield once in the first half before a big stop by Matt Hinson threw them back on their side of the field.

The Mustangs finally got inside back past the 50 when Turner broke a 50-yard run on their final drive of the game to get to the Vidalia 41. But the drive ended two plays later when Jordy Temple recovered an Avoyelles fumble, and the Vikings ran out the clock from there.

&uot;(Turner) is more dangerous at quarterback,&uot; Faircloth said. &uot;We worked all week on him being at quarterback. When he showed up at tailback, that was better. At quarterback, he could make his option either way. When he was at tailback, I said, ‘Well, we know what direction he’s going to be going.’&uot;

The Vikings pounded the ball away on the ground with Michael Randall and Chris Williams, but they went to the air on the game’s first play for a big score. Quarterback Tony Hawkins hit Rodney Washington on an out route, and he took it 61 yards for a touchdown for an 8-0 Vidalia lead just 15 seconds into the contest.

&uot;That kind of took us back,&uot; Carmouche said. &uot;We expected that pass, and we practiced that and knew they were going to throw on the first play. Our defense &045; our secondary is improved, but the two guys we had played last game and broke a leg the first game. So we’re kind of young.&uot;

On the Vikings’ third drive, Williams broke a 21-yard run to set up a 14-yard scoring run by Randall with 3:37 left for a 14-0 lead. A safety put the score at 16-0, and Randall capped a nine-play, 63-yard drive with a 3-yard run for a 22-0 lead with 5:50 left.

Randall added another touchdown before the half was up with a 12-yard run for a 30-0 lead with :29 seconds left.