By Ruthie Robison The Winston County Journal
Although it was cut shorter than anticipated, the Noxapater Tigers completed a successful 2012 high school football season last Friday night in the second round of the Mississippi High School Activities Association Class 1A playoffs.
The Stringer Red Devils came to Leon Burton Field looking for a win this year after the Tigers handed the Red Devils a 28-27 close decision loss last season in the playoffs.
Cade Hinton gave the Red Devils an early lead with a successful 28- yard field goal attempt.
Stringer struck again in the second quarter to increase their lead 10-0 after Tevin Moore made a 25-yard touchdown run.
The Noxapater offense that has been explosive throughout the entire season could not keep quiet any longer.
The Tigers answered back later in the second quarter with back-to- back scoring possessions.
Senior running back Keon Coburn made a 29-yard scamper to the end zone putting Noxapater on the board and cut away at the Stringer lead, 10-6.
Just before halftime, the Tigers took the lead away from the Red Devils. Junior quarterback Tyrell Carter found junior wide receiver Justin Robertson with a 45-yard pass.
Noxapater carried a 12-10 advantage into the second half of the game.
Both defenses stepped up in the third quarter as the Tigers and Red Devils traded scoreless possessions.
As the intense matchup unfolded in the fourth quarter, Stringer capped their 24-12 win with two Moore touchdowns.
Led by first year head coach Justin Hunter, the Tigers finished their season with a 10-3 overall record, 8-0 in district play and were Class 1A, Region 3, District 4 champions.
Noxapater had 10 consecutive wins this year outscoring their opponents 423-73 during their winning stretch. The Tigers accumulated a total of 447 points and averaged 34 points a game.
Senior running back Trey Baber led the Noxapater offense with 109 carries for 1283 yards with 26 touchdowns averaging 11.77 yards per carry. Baber received 17 passes for 209 yards with four touchdowns. Baber put up big numbers on defense as well with 57 stops, three interceptions and fumble recoveries each and four pass deflections.
Carter had a standout season as he led the Tigers as first year starting quarterback. Carter had 94 completed passes for 1466 yards with 16 touchdowns. In addition, Carter had 99 carries for 600 yards with nine touchdowns.
Junior wide receiver Anthony Brown had 23 receptions for 321 yards this season with three touchdowns.
Defensively, Brown had 65 stops, three interceptions, four pass deflections and one fumble recovery.
Coburn had 112 receptions for 727 yards this year with nine touchdowns. Coburn also had 23 stops total on defense and one sack.
Robertson has been a dynamic player for the Tigers this season. Robertson had 33 receptions for 667 yards with seven touchdowns on offense while defensively he had 84 stops.
Senior wide receiver Justus Barfield had 14 receptions for 198 yards this year with one touchdown. On defense, Barfield had 36 stops and five sacks.
Jacoby Lewis led the Noxapater defense this season with 94 stops, nine sacks and one fumble recovery. Dustin McVay followed with 89 stops, three sacks and two forced fumbles.
Trevara Miller had 52 stops, two sacks, two forced fumbles and one fumble recovery this season on defense while David Parker had 48 stops, three pass deflections and an interception.
Nick Strehle had 37 stops and two sacks this year.
The Tiger’s young talented roster are guaranteed to be back next year bigger, stronger, with more experience and ready to win.