By Paul Jones/Special to the Journal
MACON – All week long, West Point coach Chris Chambless stressed to his team of the importance of controlling the game early at Noxubee County.
That wasn’t the case on Friday night, however, as the host Tigers held off the Green Wave late in the fourth quarter for a 22-17 victory.
West Point fell into rare territory at 1-3 this year while the Tigers moved to 4-1 and avenged last year’s loss to the Green Wave.
“Week-in and week-out, it’s tough,” said Chambless. “I felt good coming into this game and I preached all week about coming into hostile territory. We just waited too long to do something about it. That is something we have to do a better job as a coaching staff. That sense of urgency has to be there quicker and this was is on me.”
West Point and Noxubee County played to a 14-14 tie at halftime as the Green Wave got rushing touchdowns from Tez Lane and Aeris Williams.
Noxubee County took the lead for good, though, early in the third quarter at 22-14.
West Point managed to cut the lead to 22-17 on a Eric Lemus 25-yard field goal with 6:21 left in regulation. But the Green Wave came up short on their final drive on fourth-and-6 at the Noxubee County 30-yard line.
“Our team will never quit and we can up with the big plays at the right time,” said Noxubee County coach Tyrone Shorter. “We always preach to fight to the end. We still have a young football team but this win gives us a lot of confidence, and we just play as a team.”
Barron’s big night
Noxubee County senior receiver Terrence Barron was again a thorn in West Point’s side and ended the night with six catches for 189 yards and one touchdown. Barron also had a pair of two-point conversion grabs.
“Yeah, he did and he’s had big games against us every year,” said Chambless. “We double-covered him and he still made plays.”
West Point now turns it attention to district play but the road gets no easier. The Green Wave travel to Lake Cormorant next Friday night and faces a team that barely slipped past last year.
“People aren’t going to like this but we are gonna find positives out of this loss,” said Chambless. “When these types of situations come up again we will know how to handle it better.
“We had a tough non-district schedule and we look forward to getting into district play. These lessons we are learning will help us in district. We will stick together and make a run.”
West Point’s Dequinten Spraggins threw for 143 yards on the night while the offense produced 159 yards on the ground, including 56 rushing yards by Williams.