By Austin Bishop
The Winston County Journal
Veteran Louisville High School head football coach M.C. Miller has been telling everyone who would listen this summer that his Wildcats were going to be young and inexperienced this season. For the first 24 minutes of Louisville’s season-opening win over Jim Hill on Friday night, that was very evident.
“We just didn’t play well in the first half,” Miller said. “They were a little better than I thought, but we are so youthful and inexperienced and we made a lot of mistakes.”
While LHS did take a solid 41-18 win over the visiting Tigers, the ‘Cats — ranked No. 1 in the state in Class 3A in the latest MAC coaches’ poll — led just 20-18 at the half.
“After I got through raising hell at halftime we came out and played a little better,” he said. “The defense stopped them and we made some things happen on offense.”
One of those offensive things that happened for LHS on Friday night was senior wide receiver Dontae Jones. He caught seven passes for 98 yards and a touchdown and had receptions that set up two other scores.
“We had to have what we got out of him Friday night and we are going to have to have more,” Miller said. “We are going to need him throughout the season as the offense begins to come together.”
One of the offensive keys for LHS will be running back Demarcus Brooks, who rushed for 84 yards on five carries and caught two passes for 30 yards before being injured. He is expected to be ready to make the trip to Wilkinson County on Friday night.
A pair of quarterbacks shared duty for the Wildcats, with Brady Anderson hitting on 9-of-16 passes for 172 yards and two scores, while Brody Burchfield completed 4-of-7 passes for 40 yards and a score. Each tossed an interception.
LHS led 14-6 after one quarter of play thanks to a 2-yard touchdown run by Brooks and a 49-yard touchdown toss from Anderson to Chris Blair. Corey McCullough was good with both extra point kicks. The first touchdown was set up by a 21-yard run and a 14-yard pass reception by Brooks.
Louisville’s lone second quarter score came on a 12-yard pass from Burchfield to Demarcus Frazier to cap an eight-play drive. The drive was kept alive thanks to a pair of 9-yard receptions by Jones.
Louisville exploded for 21 points in the third quarter. The first touchdown came at the end of an 11-play drive as Anderson scored on a 1-yard run. Keon Coleman had a 19-yard run and Jones a 22-yard reception in the drive.
The second score of the quarter came after the LHS defense recovered a fumble at the Jim Hill 10-yard line. Jones hauled in a 9-yard pass from Anderson for the score. Louisville’s final touchdown came in the form of a 55-yard interception return by Rod Jackson. McCullough hit on five-of-six extra point attempts on the night.