By Gene Phelps/NEMS Daily Journal
MACON – Darrell Robinson was Noxubee County’s offense on Friday night.
The 190-pound junior running back rushed for 178 yards and scored on two long runs to lead the Tigers, ranked No. 4 in the state in Class 4A, to a 16-6 victory against visiting Aberdeen, the state’s No. 1-ranked 3A team.
Robinson’s 35-yard scoring jaunt with 5 minutes, 31 seconds left in the third quarter broke a 6-6 tie in what proved to be a defensive struggle.
“I just followed my blockers and ran north and south,” Robinson said. “Aberdeen’s got a good defense. Their linebackers fill really well.”
The Tigers (3-1) added a safety early in the fourth quarter for the winning margin.
“We had some missed tackles and they made some big plays,” Aberdeen coach Chris Duncan said. “They had those two big plays. That was it. We shut them down the rest of the night.”
Aberdeen (2-2) gave up 202 yards total offense to Noxubee County.
The Bulldogs’ offense, led by freshman quarterback Josh Williams, struggled against a stubborn Noxubee County defense. Aberdeen finished 89 yards total offense. Williams passed for 67 on 6 of 8 completions.
Williams had an 82-yard completion to Michael Hodges nullified by an illegal procedure call with 10:09 remaining in the fourth quarter. Had the play stood, Aberdeen would have had a first-and-goal at the Noxubee County 5-yard line, trailing 14-6.
“That was a bad call,” Duncan said. The Tigers would record a safety two plays later.
Aberdeen’s defense set up the Bulldogs’ lone touchdown in the first half with a fumble recovery at the Tigers’ 2-yard line.
The turnover came just seconds after Noxubee County ended a Bulldogs’ scoring threat with an interception.
Following a 1-yard penalty, Williams scored on a 1-yard keeper over left guard with 10:53 remaining in the second quarter to give Aberdeen a 6-0 lead.
Noxubee County answered in two plays when Robinson broke off right tackle and sprinted 52 yards to paydirt to tie the score at 6-6. Robinson rushed for 91 yards on 15 carries in the first half.
Both teams failed on their conversion attempts.