By Ruthie Robison The Winston County Journal
The Louisville Wildcats pulled a playoff upset victory over the higher ranked New Albany Bulldogs, Region 2, No. 1, in the second round of the Mississippi High School Activities Association Class 4A playoffs last Friday, 38-13.
The Wildcats traveled to New Albany last week with one intention: to extend their winning season.
The Bulldogs scored early in the game after a 20-yard touchdown pass gaining the lead, 7-0. But the Wildcats answered back quickly.
Sophomore wide receiver Dontae Jones caught a pass from junior quarterback Wyatt Roberts and made a short dash to the end zone for a total of 70 yards. Corey McCullough followed with the extra point evening the score, 7-7.
The first quarter ended with Louisville deep in Bulldog territory. Senior running back Cass Love made a run from one yard out taking the lead from New Albany, 13-7.
With the Bulldogs in possession of the ball, Nicholas Shields made a big defensive play for the Wildcats. Shields recovered a New Albany fumble handing his team an opportunity to advance their lead. Roberts found Jones with a 21-yard pass for another Louisville touchdown. Roberts connected with Jones again for the extra points.
Later in the second quarter, the Wildcat air assault continued.
Roberts made an 82-yard strike to junior wide receiver Desmond Goss. McCullough added the extra point, and Louisville had a growing lead over New Albany, 28-7.
The Wildcats ended the first half of the game with another scoring play. The Roberts and Jones duo struck again, this time with a 20- yard pass. McCullough supplied the point-after-touchdown.
At halftime, Louisville had a 35-7 advantage scoring 35 unanswered points in the first half of the game.
Both the Wildcat and Bulldog offenses remained silent in the third quarter.
With 11:53 left in the game, New Albany scored once more adding six more points to the board.
McCullough received a chance to increase the Louisville lead later in the fourth quarter with a 28-yard field goal attempt. McCullough spilt the uprights capping the Wildcat win, 38-13.
Love had 16 carries for 67 yards with one touchdown. Drew Lee had two carries for 10 yards while Demarcus Brooks had three carries for 10 yards. Roberts had two carries for nine yards. Goss had two carries for seven yards.
Roberts was 9-15 through the air for 242 yards with four touchdowns.
Jones had five receptions for 133 yards with three touchdowns. Goss had two receptions for 95 yards with one touchdown. Dalton Hudspeth had one reception for 21 yards.
On the defensive side of the ball, Jeremy Sangster had 22 stops with one quarterback hurry.
Raquel Graham had six stops, one interception and one fumble recovery. Anthony Gund had six stops with two quarterback hurries while Christian Wraggs had six stops, one sack and six quarterback hurries. Dylan Nicholson had four stops and an interception while Lakendrick Vaughn had two stops and an interception.
The Wildcats hold a 9-4 overall record.
Knowing that every game could be their last, Louisville has proved in the last two weeks of playoff action that this year they intend to visit Mississippi Veterans Memorial Stadium in Jackson.
This Friday night the Wildcats will return to R.E. Hinze Stadiun to host the Houston Hilltoppers for the second time this season.
Earlier in the season, Louisville defeated Houston 35-14.
However, the Hilltoppers recently made a playoff upset of their own defeating the Region 3, No. 1 team, Yazoo County, 34-0.
Houston holds an 11-2 overall record having only been defeated by Louisville and Noxubee County this season.
Both Region 4 teams will be battling for the chance to play on Nov. 23 for the MHSAA Class 4A North Half championship.
Kickoff is set for 7:00 p.m.