By Paul Jones/Special to the Journal
MACON – Throughout his first season directing Shannon High School’s program, head coach Darryl Carter witnessed too many unforced mistakes on both sides of the football. Friday night in the first round of the Class 4A playoffs, Carter saw those same problems arise.
The Red Raiders committed four turnovers and had 14 penalties en route to a 42-6 loss at Noxubee County and saw their season end. Shannon finished 3-8 while the Tigers remained unbeaten at 12-0 and advanced to meet Lafayette County in the second round.
“It was the same thing thing we talked about and it’s been the same song all year,” said Carter. “Noxubee County and (head) Coach (Tyrone) Shorter have done a fine job and are a good team. But we are in the position we’re in because of inconsistency. We have a young team but we are not going to make excuses. Tonight we did what we’ve done all year and that’s shoot ourselves in the foot.”
The Red Raiders found themselves down a pair of touchdowns before fans barely got comfortable in their seats in the opening quarter. Noxubee County senior standout Darrell Robinson capped off the opening series with a touchdown run and the Tigers then returned a fumble for a score on the ensuing kickoff.
Signs of life
Shannon did find a little life late in the first quarter when Devan Gilleylen connected with Chavis Dillworth for a 60-yard touchdown. However, Robinson rushed for two more TDs and the Tigers held a comfortable 28-6 advantage at halftime.
Naturally, it wasn’t the start Carter was hoping for his young Red Raiders.
“We had our opportunities but we just didn’t get it done,” said Carter. “We got down 14-0 quick and then we stopped them and got a quick touchdown. But then we let them go right down the field and score again. We had a good gameplan but we had too many penalties and too many false starts. You just can’t do that against a great team like this and remain in the game.”
Robinson rushed for another score in the second half and finished with 22 carries for 205 yards and four touchdowns. On the season Robinson has rushed for 41 touchdowns and is just six off the single-season state record for touchdowns in a season.
As a team, the Tigers rushed for 235 yards and out-gained Shannon 297-232. The Red Raiders did manage late success on the ground after the outcome was decided and finished with 107 rushing yards.