First half hurts Tigers in season-opening loss to Eupora

By Austin Bishop
The Winston County Journal

Noxapater High School head football coach Casey Orr knew his Tigers were facing a tough task when they played host to MHSAA Class 2A power Eupora to open the 2014 season last Friday night.
But is also confident that the tough battles his team will face in the opening weeks of the season will pay big dividends as the season progresses.
“If our kids keep improving the way they did from our jamboree until last week and we will be okay,” Orr said. “I thought our kids really battled, especially after falling behind. There is a rhyme and a reason to why we play the schedule we play. You find out what you are doing wrong and it gives you a chance to correct it.”
Eupora scored 14 points in the first quarter and 20 in the second on the way to the 41-0 win, but the Tigers were able to compete with the Eagles in the second half, something that encouraged Orr.
“They have more kids than we have and that made a difference,” he said. “But I think once we settled down we played with them well.”
Orr knows that his team is facing another tough challenge on Friday night when they travel north to Cumberland to take on another Class 2A foe in East Webster.
“They have a spread offense and throw it around some,” Orr said of the Wolverines. “They have a real good senior running back (Deandre Liggins) and like to get him some touches. It will be another tough test for us.”
Keonte Daniels led the Tigers in rushing with 59 yards on 15 carries, while James Hunter had 13 carries for 57 yards and Vonte Woods seven attempts for 25 yards.
Daniels led Noxapater defensively with nine tackles, while Tyler Miles had seven and Jarrius Carter, Jaylen Eichelberger, and Chris Johnson recorded four each.