By Daniel Brunty The Winston County Journal
The Class 1A defending champion Noxapater Tigers started their division part of their schedule this past Friday as they faced off against the Weir Lions. The Lions, who were short a few players, would not be able to handle the Tigers and were defeated 41-0 on their home field.
The first quarter of the game began with Noxapater receiving the initial kickoff of the game. The Tigers would waste no time getting on the scoreboard as quarterback Tyrell Carter found wide receiver Lakevin Smith wide open down the field for a 40-yard touchdown pass for the early lead. The PAT by Dustin McVay would make the score 7-0 in favor of Noxapater.
The first possession of the night for the Lions would be a short one as they were forced to turn the ball over on downs. The Tigers would take over with around seven minutes left in the first quarter.
The Tigers would continue to put up points in the quarter as running back Trey Baber broke through the Lions’ defensive front and scored on a 23-yard run. McVay’s PAT would make the score 14-0 with around six minutes left in the quarter.
Weir would try to get their offense going with their running back by committee of Darius Brown, Jeremy Miller, and the Woodards (Danny & Mello). But the Tigers’ defense would be too much, and the Lions would be forced to punt with around four minutes left in the quarter.
Noxapater would score again on their next possession as Baber again broke through the defense on the way to a 34-yard touchdown run to increase the Tigers’ lead. The run would also give Baber close to 100 yards rushing in the first quarter alone. The PAT made the score 21-0 Tigers.
Weir would experience the same results on their next possession as they were again forced to punt by the Tigers’ defense. Noxapater would have possession of the ball as the first quarter ended.
Weir would get their first positive play of the night on defense as Noxapater wide receiver Justin Robertson would fumble the ball, and was recovered by the Lions’ Jeremy Miller.
Looking to capitalize on the turnover, the Lions’ begin their drive in their own territory. Unfortunately, they would be forced to punt again.
Returning the punt for the Tigers was Baber, who returned it for a 60- yard touchdown for his third score of the night. The PAT made the score 28-0 with around six minutes left in the second quarter.
Weir would have one more possession before halftime, but still could not produce any offense. The Lions would again punt the ball back to the Tigers, and that would end the first half of play with the score 28-0.
Weir would open up the second half receiving the kickoff. The Lions begin to put together a solid drive with quarterback Tyler Henson completing passes to Brown and Mello Woodard to put the Lions in Tiger territory. The Lions would have possession of the ball for most of the third quarter.
However, Noxapater would again make a defensive stop and force another punt by the Lions. The Tigers would have the ball on their own 13-yard line after the punt.
On their first play of that possession, Carter would drop back to pass and found Justin Robertson on the sideline, who took it all the way for an 87-yard touchdown with around three minutes left in the third quarter. The PAT by McVay made the score 35-0.
Weir would have possession of the ball going into the fourth quarter. Another defensive stop by the Tigers would force the Lions to punt again early in the quarter.
On their next possession, the Tigers would score their last touchdown of the night as Baber would again break down the Lions’ defense for a 35-yard run for his fourth score of the night. The Lions would block the PAT, making the final score 41-0.
For the Lions, Henson finished the night 3 of 8 in pass completions for 35 yards. Tyler Martin had six punts for the night for 190 yards, with a long of 39. For the Tigers’ offense, Carter was 6 of 13 in pass completions for 183 yards and two touchdowns. Baber had seven carries for 142 yards and three touchdowns. Keon Coburn had five carries for 60 yards. Robertson had three receptions for 118 yards and one touchdown.
Up next for the Lions (1-3) will be a division road game against Pelahatchie (3-1) this Friday. The Chiefs defeated the Nanih Waiya Warriors last week 41-14.
The Tigers (2-2) will host Sebastopol in division play this upcoming Friday. Sebastopol recently defeated East Oktibbeha 42-20. Kickoff for both games will be at 7:30 p.m.