By Daniel Brunty The Winston County Journal
This season’s Louisville Wildcats team has been highly touted in the preseason, earning rankings in the Top 20 in most polls in Mississippi. Looking to travel the road all the way to the state championship this year, the Wildcats hit a stumbling block this past Friday against rival New Hope in their season opener.
In hopes of avenging last season’s opener, the Wildcats were defeated 43-26 by the Trojans. The first quarter would be a tough one for the Wildcats, as the Trojans would score two times in the first quarter alone. The score going into the second quarter would be 13-0.
The Wildcats would get their first touchdown of the night when running back Cass love ran into the end zone from the 1-yard line. The PAT by the Wildcats would make the score 13-7. New Hope would answer back with a touchdown drive, but would miss the PAT. The score going into halftime would be 19-7 in favor of the Trojans.
The third quarter would begin with New Hope driving the ball down the field and kicking a field goal to increase their lead 22-7.
The Wildcats, needing a score to stay in the game, would get one from Wyatt Roberts on an option play that went for 10 yards and a touchdown. Louisville would go for a two-point conversion but fail, making the score 22-13.
The Wildcats would find little time to enjoy their score, as the Trojans returned the ensuing kickoff for another New Hope touchdown. The PAT would be blocked by the Wildcats, leaving the score 28-13.
Down but not out, the Wildcats would get a big score when Roberts found receiver Lathomas Brown for a 20-yard touchdown pass. The PAT would be good, and the score was 28-20.
On the next series, the Wildcats defense would come in with a big stop on the Trojans during a 4th & inches play on the New Hope 30- yard line. The score at the end of the third quarter would be 28-20 with the Wildcats in scoring position on the New Hope 9-yard line.
The fourth quarter started out good for the Wildcats, as receiver Desmond Goss took an end around into the end zone for a 6-yard touchdown run. The Wildcats attempted a two-point conversion, which was no good. The Wildcats were now down only two points in a 28-26 game.
Looking to take their first lead of the game, the Wildcats offense went back to work. As luck would have it, the Wildcats would see Roberts have his pass tipped, intercepted and returned for a touchdown. The Trojans would convert a two-point conversion to make the score 36-26. On the Wildcats next offensive series, lightning struck twice as Roberts had another pass tipped, intercepted and returned for another Trojans touchdown. The Pat would make the final score of the game 43-26.
For the Wildcats offense, Love had 10 carries for 27 yards, and Drew Lee had 4 carries for 27 yards. Roberts had 9 carries for 4 yards and was 15 of 37 in pass completions for 235 yards.
In receiving, Dalton Hudspeth had 5 receptions for 68 yards, brown had 3 receptions for 76 yards, Dontae Jones had 2 receptions for 45 yards, Goss had 4 receptions for 29 yards, and TJ Hudson had 1 reception for 14 yards.
Defensively, Jeremy Sangster led the team in tackles with 12, followed by transfer Christian Wraggs with 9. Shaquille Shumaker also had 6 tackles for the Wildcats.
The Wildcats next matchup will be at the TN/MS Showcase being held at Noxubee County this Saturday, where they will face Ridgeway Roadrunners out of Tennessee. Kickoff for this game will be at 1 p.m.