By Paul Jones/Special to the Journal
WEST POINT – With two of the best teams and best defenses in the state, most expected West Point and Noxubee County to be a defensive-dominated game settled in the last minute.
It played out to the script almost exactly.
Noxubee County recovered a West Point fumble inside the Tigers’ 10-yard line on the final play of the game to preserve a 6-0 victory. Neither team was able to produce 100 yards of offense and Noxubee County’s Darrell Robinson had the lone score of the night.
After a long wait for their home opener, the Green Wave fell to 2-2 on the year while Noxubee County remained perfect at 5-0.
“Great game and we knew it would be a battle,” said West Point coach Chris Chambless. “It always is when we get together and play.
“We got down there in the end like all good teams will. Sometimes you get in and sometimes you don’t. We were just not fortunate enough to get in.
“But it is not back to the drawing board for us. It is about practicing hard and working hard. We have 24 hours (to celebrate) on victories and the same for defeat.”
Trailing 6-0 in the fourth quarter, West Point started the game’s final drive from its own 21-yard line. Thanks to a pair of roughing the passer penalties, the Green Wave eventually had first-and-goal at the Tigers’ 5.
One last chance
Following a West Point false start and a Tez Lane 5-yard run, the Green Wave set up the game’s final play with 10 seconds left. Lane scrambled to his right but lost control of the ball and the Tigers pounced on it as the horn sounded.
“We knew it would be a great defensive game on both sides,” said Noxubee County coach Tyrone Shorter. “West Point has a great defense and we have a lot of kids back on our defense.”
Noxubee County limited West Point junior tailback Aeris Williams to just 57 yards on 27 carries. Williams had two catches for 30 yards on the final drive.
“We knew going in that their defense is solid at every spot over there,” said Chambless. “But we got a defense, too. They got six and we didn’t.”
As a team, West Point got five of its nine first downs on the final drive and had just 93 yards of total offense.
Noxubee County managed just four first downs and 59 total yards with 43 of those yards coming on Robinson’s touchdown late in the first half.