By Ruthie Robison The Winston County Journal
The Louisville Wildcats were prepared to make a statement last Friday night, and that’s exactly what they did.
Having already clinched the second playoff spot in Class 4A, Region 4, District 4, the Wildcats knew they had to pick up momentum before entering the first round of the Mississippi High School Activities Association North state playoffs.
The Louisville offense pounded out the points in their bout with the Leake Central Gators and earned another district win, 44-7.
However, it was the Wildcat defense to put Louisville on the board first. The solid Wildcat defensive line made a stand in the first quarter sacking the Gator quarterback in the end zone for a safety. Louisville gained the lead, 2-0.
The Wildcats quickly scored again. Junior quarterback Wyatt Roberts connected with sophomore wide receiver Dontae Jones on a 25-yard pass. Dalton Hudspeth added the extra point.
But Leake Central answered back with their own scoring play.
The Gators punched it in from 20 yards out. After the PAT, Leake Central had chipped away at the Wildcat lead, 9-7.
Senior running back Cass Love jump-started the Louisville ground assault and took the ball 45 yards for a Wildcat touchdown. Junior kicker Corey McCullough added the extra point increasing the Louisville lead over the Gators, 16-7.
After forcing Leake Central to punt, Jeremy Sangster made a big play for the Wildcats. Sangster blocked the Gator punt and Louisville gained possession of the ball on the Leake Central 15-yard line. On the ensuing play, Roberts found Hudspeth with a 15-yard pass.
The Wildcat momentum continued to grow with just three minutes remaining in the first half of the game. Roberts made a 45-yard touchdown pass to junior wide receiver Desmond Goss. McCullough added the extra point after both Louisville touchdown passes. The Wildcats took a 30-7 advantage into halftime.
The Wildcats continued to stack up points in the second half of the game. Sophomore Julius Love added a rushing touchdown while junior J.J. Waldrip received a scoring pass from Roberts.
McCullough added both point-after-touchdowns to cap the Wildcat win, 44-7.
On the offensive side of the ball, Love led the rushing attack with 12 carries for 161 yards with one touchdown. Travian Hudson followed with five carries for 53 yards while Waldrip had one carry for 12 yards. Drew Lee had one carry for ten yards. Lawilliam Carter had two carries for nine yards while Roberts has three carries for seven yard.
Roberts was 7-13 through the air for 109 yards with three touchdowns.
Goss had two receptions for 42 yards with one touchdown. Jones had one reception for 27 yards with one touchdown while Hudspeth and Avontae Harris had on reception for 15 yards each. Hudson had two receptions for 10 yards.
On the defensive side of the ball, Jeremy Sangster had 12 stops and one blocked punt. Darius Miller had nine stops while Jalon Sangster had eight stops and two sacks. Shaquille Shumaker had seven stops during the game.
Anthony Gund has two sacks while Julius Love had one fumble recovery.
The Wildcats finished their schedule with a 7-4 overall record and a 4-1 district record.
This Friday night Louisville will play host to the Region 1, No. 3 seed Corinth Warriors.
The Warriors will enter the meeting with a 8-2, 3-2 record having defeated Shannon last Friday, 20-14, to gain the third playoff spot in their district.
All first, second, third and fourth round playoff games have a 7:00 p.m. kickoff set by the MHSAA.