September 21, 2013 12:02:28 AM
Editor's Note: For more on these games and all of the rest of Friday night's prep football action, see Sunday's edition of The Dispatch.
MACON -- If any team was made for the never-ending rain that fell Friday night, it might just be the West Point Green Wave.
With the traditional power running game accounting for 231 of their 240 yards, West Point earned a 14-6 rivalry victory at Noxubee County. The Green Wave didn't let the wet weather deter them from handing the football to senior tailback Aeris Williams and quarterback Josh Ewing to allowing those two to carry them to victory.
"When you come to Noxubee County for this game, you know you're going to find out who is the most physical football team on the field," said West Point coach Chris Chambless, whose team improved to 2-2. "The rain just made it worse, but we made it a point of emphasis to get back to what we've established as West Point football. I think in the past we've tried to be something we're not and it's cost us."
Noxubee County (2-3) attempted early and late to revive a passing attack through the thunderstorms and had problems moving the ball on a defense already motivated after giving up 41 points to Columbus last week.
"We needed this, and we needed to get back to establishing our form of football," Chambless said. "I took full responsibility for what happened last week and we didn't only give up six points because of the rain. We physically got in the backfield a lot tonight."
Williams, a Mississippi State verbal commitment, had 162 yards on 35 carries and a first-half touchdown. Through four games, the four-star prospect has 660 rushing yards and seven touchdowns.
"He's the best tailback in the state (and) you can only hold him in check for so long," Noxubee County coach Tyrone Shorter said. "I think we're going to be a real contender in Class 4A even after this loss. I'm proud our kids came out in the second half and didn't quit."
Noxubee County got the first score of the second half on a 9-yard scramble by 5-foot-10 sophomore quarterback Timorrius Conner. Shorter decided to go for what he thought would be the game-winning two-point conversion and the snap was fumbled on the failed run.
Conner's late fumble on a fourth-quarter scramble led to a late touchdown scamper by Ewing on a option draw play for the final score.
"We live and love in the mud and the rain," Ewing said. "This is the weather that allows us to get right into West Point football. Whether it's raining, dry or whatever, it should be about running it down teams' throats and playing man-on-man football."
West Point enters region play next week when it travels to Oxford, while Noxubee County will have the week off before it plays host to Kosciusko on Oct. 4.
n Louisville 21, Columbus 10: At Louisville, all Louisville football coach M.C. Miller wanted was any type of lead.
Miller got just that 13 seconds into the game Friday night. Demarcus Brooks returned the opening kickoff 93 yards for a touchdown. As heavy rains continued to envelop R.E. Hinze Stadium, Louisville made that early score stand up in a win over Columbus.
"On a night like this, you want one opportunity," Miller said. "We thought Columbus might come in here riding a little too high (after a 41-14 win over West Point). We wanted to take advantage of that and we did just that."
The inclement weather made any type of offensive success a cause for celebration.
Louisville (5-0) built a 14-0 halftime lead and was never in any real danger. Each team scored a touchdown in the final couple of minutes of the contest. Columbus (2-2) was done in by committing the game's only three turnovers on the wet track.
"It was a well-played game and a pretty even game," Columbus coach Tony Stanford said. "You knew there would be turnovers and some sloppy play. We made three mistakes and that cost us the ballgame."
The Columbus offense was also slowed in the second half when quarterback Trace Lee left the contest with an apparent injury to his right leg on the first possession of the half. Postgame, Lee was wearing a knee brace, in good spirits and vowed to play next Friday's Region 2-6A home opener against Starkville.
n New Hope 21, Amory 0: At Amory, Brenton Spann ran for two touchdowns to help the Trojans (2-2) post the shutout on a rain-soaked evening.
Spann scored on a 67-yard run and on a 32-yard run to help New Hope win its second game in a row. Brady Davis hit Victor Deloach with a 61-yard catch-and-run for a touchdown.
Each team had at least 10 fumbles on a night when it rained from start to finish. The rain picked up in the third quarter, and by the end of the game there was standing water on the field and a river of mud on the New Hope sideline.
New Hope will open Class 5A, region 1 play next week when it travels to Clarksdale.
1. No. 1 MSU begins preparations for Kentucky COLLEGE SPORTS
2. Alabama shines with looser mind-set COLLEGE SPORTS
3. Ole Miss will rely on defense COLLEGE SPORTS
4. Ole Miss gearing up for improved LSU COLLEGE SPORTS
5. New Hope softball escapes quicksand at Warren Central HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS