By Austin Bishop
The Winston County Journal
It took only seconds for Demarcus Brooks to let the air out of Columbus’ upset hopes on Friday night, as the Louisville High School junior returned the opening kickoff 95 yards for a touchdown to help spark the Wildcats to a 21-10 Homecoming win over the Falcons.
“That was big right there. That took control of the game for us,” said LHS head coach M.C. Miller. “When you score like that so quickly, it just changes things. It gets your momentum going and it took the air out of them.”
Later in the quarter senior quarterback Wyatt Roberts rambled in from six yards out for another touchdown. Corey McCullough was good with the second of his three extra points on the night to put the winners up 14-0.
Despite the heavy rain and poor conditions at R.E. Hinze Stadium on Friday, Miller was pleased with the way his team dealt with the adversity.
“I think they handled it pretty well,” Miller said. “The rain did make a difference. The ball got heavy and it was pretty hard to throw. Both teams were a little more cautious than usual because of the weather. Once we got ahead we just tried to control the ball.”
Columbus picked up a field goal in the second quarter to cut LHS’ halftime margin to 14-3, the Wildcats put the game away in the fourth quarter when Roberts hit Desmond Goss with a 14-yard scoring strike. Columbus scored its touchdown with less than a minute to play in the game.
Roberts hit on 7-of-18 passes for 101 yards, while Goss had four catches for 61 yards, Dontae Jones had two for 20 and Dalton Hudspeth had one for 20 yards.
Brooks led the team in rushing with 38 yards on seven attempts, while J.J. Waldrip had seven carries for 28 yards, Drew Lee had four for 27 and Avonte Harris had eight for 26.
Jeremy Sangster recorded 13 tackles and caused two fumbles for LHS, while Anthony Gund had 10 tackles and three quarterback hurries. Darius Miller, Lawilliam Carter and Ty Hathorn had nine tackles each for the Wildcats, while Malik Slaughter had seven. Darius Dora had an interception and a fumble recovery, while Nicholas Shields also picked off a pass.
With the win the Wildcats moved to 5-0 on the season and are still ranked No. 7 in the Jackson Clarion-Ledger’s Super 10 rankings, which considers all schools of all classifications. LHS also held on to its No. 1 ranking in MHSAA Class 3A.
Next up for LHS is a Kosciusko High School team that is trying to snap a three-game losing streak.
After opening the year with wins over Winona (26-20) and Neshoba Central (42-27), the Whippets lost to Newton County (33-21), Grenada (41-6) and Forest (13-7).
“We want to win this game because it helps us get ready for the district games,” Miller said. “We just go through playing four really good teams in a row, but we can’t have a let down. We will be talking to them about that all this week.
“They (Kosciusko) are not winning right now, but they still have a pretty good team,” he said. “This is a big game for them. You know they are going to be up and ready to play.”