Gund stands tall for Wildcats in big win over Aberdeen

From Austin Bishop

The Winston County Journal

 

It’s easy to notice Anthony Gund when he walks onto the field for the Louisville High School Wildcats.

At 6-foot-5, and 235 pounds he looks the part of a legitimate NCAA Division I football prospect. On Friday night against Aberdeen, he played the role as well.

Gund delivered a key quarterback sack on a fourth-and-goal situation, blocked one punt, and returned a pair of blocked kicks for touchdowns as Louisville — ranked No. 5 in the Jackson Clarion-Ledger’s Super 10 — rolled to a key 39-13 Region 4-3A win over visiting Aberdeen.

“They weren’t that far deep so I knew I could get there,” Gund said of Aberdeen’s punt formation. “I was happy (when I picked the ball up) because I knew I was going to score.”

“He’s really developing as a player,” LHS head coach M.C. Miller said of Gund. “He played good last year, but he’s just getting better and better.”

Aberdeen, which hadn’t had a punt blocked all season, saw three different Wildcats — Jeremy Sangster, Gund and Rodneal Smith — get one on Friday night. A number that even surprised Miller.

“We figured we could get it, but I wasn’t expecting to get that many,” he said of the blocked punts. “But we did a good job on it.”

The homestanding ‘Cats used a half-dozen big plays to take a solid 39-13 win over the Bulldogs to run their record to 9-0 on the season and all but lock up the Region 4-3A title.

LHS scored on its first two offensive plays of the game — a 41-yard touchdown pass from Wyatt Roberts to Travian Hudson and a 55-yard run by Demarcus Brooks — to take a 14-0 lead and control of the game.

“We wanted to get out to a good start and that really helped us,” Miller said. “Getting ahead early was something we were hoping to do.”

After falling behind 14-0 and having an apparent 48-yard touchdown pass from Josh Williams to Sammie Burroughs called back due to a personal foul penalty, the Bulldogs kept the drive alive and moved down to the eight-yard line were they had a fourth and goal. Gund was able to get around the blockers on the outside and sack Williams for a 10-yard loss on the fourth down play to end the threat.

Louisville stretched out its lead to 22-0 with 2:22 left in the first half when Roberts found Desmond Goss for a 10-yard scoring toss and Hudson passed to Lawilliam Carter for the two-point conversion on a botched extra point kick attempt.

The Wildcats opened the third quarter with Corey McCullough knocking home a 27-yard field goal to put the top-ranked team in MHSAA Class 3A up 25-0 with 10:22 left in the third quarter.

Aberdeen tried to counter, working the ball down to the Louisville 6-yard line. However the LHS defense responded by recording a tackle for a loss, forcing an incomplete pass and then coming up with a 16-yard quarterback sack on fourth down to snuff out the scoring opportunity.

The first blocked punt for a score came with 5:29 left in the third quarter when Gund blocked the punt himself, gathered it up at the 18-yard line and rolled into the end zone untouched to put the winners up 32-0.

Aberdeen got on the scoreboard when Williams hit Jerrick Orr with a 69-yard scoring strike. Then came Gund’s second score with 45 seconds left in the quarter when Smith blocked the ball almost off the punter’s foot and Gund picked the ball up at the three and walked in for the score to make it 39-7.

The Bulldogs last touchdown came with five seconds left in the game when Tramonte Prather scored on a 2-yard run.

Brooks led LHS in rushing with 68 yards on seven carries, while J.J. Waldrip had four attempts for 22 yards. Roberts hit on 6-of-18 passes for 66 yards, while Goss had three catches for 12 yards, Dalton Hudspeth two for 13 and Hudson one for 41.

Next up for the undefeated Wildcats is a trip to Kemper County where they will face a team coached by former LHS assistant Chris Jones.

Kemper County is currently 7-2 overall on the season and 2-1 in Region 4-3A play. The KCHS Wildcats have league wins over South Pontotoc (65-26) and Nettleton (34-27) to go with a 39-22 loss to Aberdeen. Kemper County’s only other loss on the season was 58-8 to Philadelphia in the sixth week of the season.

A win by Louisville in DeKalb on Friday night clinches the Region 5-3A title for the ‘Cats.

“Almost all his coaching staff are my former players,” Miller said of Jones. “The played for me at Noxubee County.”

Jones also played for Miller at NCHS, then was hired by Miller as an assistant at Louisville High School.

“It’s his first year, but he’s doing a good job down there,” Miller said, noting that Jones will have a lot of inside information on LHS going into the game. “It will make a little bit of a difference, because he knows everybody we have and knows what we try to do.”