Wildcats enjoying playoff atmosphere during early season games

By Austin Bishop

The Winston County Journal


Louisville might as well already be in the playoffs. The schedule certainly looks like it.

After knocking off rival Noxubee County 28-6 last Friday night, the 3-0 Wildcats — ranked No. 1 in 3A in the state and No. 9 overall by the Jackson Clarion-Ledger — face another stiff challenge this week when they host the Tornadoes of Philadelphia High School.

“Philadelphia has a good football team,” said LHS head coach M.C. Miller. “They are quick and they have a good offense. They score more than 40 points a game.”

The Tornadoes, who are currently 3-0 and ranked No. 3 in Class 3A by the Clarion-Ledger, are putting a 42-game regular season winning streak on the line when they make the trip to R.E. Hinze Stadium. Philly has a 54-3 regular season record during the six-year tenure of head coach Teddy Dyess and is 61-8 overall.

“Playing good teams isn’t going to do anything but help us,” Miller said. “It will get us ready for the playoffs and just make us better.”

After opening the season with a 47-0 win over Jim Hill, the Wildcats took a 30-12 home win over a tough Wilkinson County team before traveling to Macon to beat Noxubee County last week. After hosting Philadelphia Friday, the ‘Cats host Columbus and visit Kosciusko before opening district play against Winona on Oct. 4.

Against the Tigers of Noxubee County the Wildcats scored a touchdown in each quarter, but none was bigger than the last one. Jeremy Sangster picked off a pass and returned it 40 yards for a touchdown in the last quarter.

“That was a big one,” Miller said. “When he picked off that pass and ran it back, that closed the deal.”

LHS took a 7-0 lead on a 3-yard run by Demarcus Brooks that culminated a five-play, 38-yard drive. Corey McCullough was good on all four of his extra point attempts for the ‘Cats.

An 89-yard return by Noxubee on the ensuing kickoff set up a 1-yard scoring run by Darrell Brandon to cut the LHS lead to 7-6.

The lone second quarter score came on a 25-yard pass from Wyatt Roberts to Dontae Jones, while the Wildcats scored on a 17-yard pass from Roberts to Brooks in the third quarter.

Roberts hit on 12-of-26 passes for 143 yards, while Jones had four catches for 53 yards, Desmond Goss had three for 21 and Dalton Hudspeth had two for 25. Travian Hudson, Brooks and Avonte Harris each had a catch for the winners.

Brooks rushed for 82 yards on 15 carries, while Roberts had 39 yards on 16 attempts and Harris had nine carries for 28 yards.

Jeremy Sangster had six tackles, including two tackles for a loss to lead the LHS defense. Anthony Gund and Lakendrick Vaughn had five stops each for the winners.

Philadelphia comes into Friday’s game with a 3-0 mark after defeating county rival Neshoba Central 41-0 last week. Philly’s other wins have come over South Delta (49-0) and J.J. McClain (71-0).