By Austin Bishop
Winston County Journal
Lessons are fine, as long as you learn from them.
That’s the mindset Noxapater head coach Casey Orr has following his team’s 37-13 win over Sebastopol Friday night. The Tigers improved to 4-2 overall and 3-0 in Region 3-1A play with the win.
“We came out a little sloppy and sluggish and we came in a little too comfortable,” Orr said. “I wasn’t pleased with our mindset during the week, I could tell they had been record watching.
“They played us tough early in the game and I think our kids learned a valuable lesson about understanding their opponent,” he said. “It’s a new world for them. It’s been a while since they’ve come into games with everybody expecting them to win.”
Keonte Daniels had a huge game for the Tigers, rushing for 310 yards and four touchdowns on 17 carries. LaPatrick Maul had 52 yards on 12 rushing attempts.
The game was scoreless after one quarter of play, before Daniels scored on a 25-yard run and Hayden Pierce knocked through the point after to make it 7-0.
The Bobcats came right back to answer the Noxapater score with a 50-yard drive and tied the game with a 1-yard run.
The last few minutes of the second quarter and the beginning of the third quarter turned the game around for the Tigers. Keonte Daniels broke free for a 69-yard touchdown just before the half and the Tigers followed that up by opening the second half with a 96-yard scoring drive, culminating with a 2-yard run by Daniels.
“That really did get the momentum going in our direction,” Orr said. “When it was a tight game you could see we trying to understand what was going on. It was good to see us fight through that.”
On Noxapater’s next possession, Maul scored on a 25-yard run. Thomas Gunnin then recovered a fumble to set up another touchdown run by Daniels..
Sebastopol cut it to 34-13 in the fourth quarter before Noxapater closed out the scoring on a 25-yard field goal by Pierce.
A.J. Hicks had 10 tackles and Donovan Hickman nine to lead the Tigers, while Demaret Woods picked off a pass for Noxapater.
The Tigers are set to visit Montgomery County on Friday, before hosting McAdams on Oct. 9. That sets up two key Region 3-1A games back to back as Noxapater visits French Camp on Oct. 16 and hosts Nanih Waiya on Thursday, Oct. 22.