MACON — If there’s any team that 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 total yards, West Point took home a 14-6 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 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. It had problems moving the ball on a motivated defense that allowed 41 points last week in a loss to Columbus.
“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. Williams broke loose on a 51-yard run down to the 2-yard line. Two plays later, he plowed in for the first touchdown.
“He’s the best tailback in the state. 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.”
The weather played havoc on each team’s game plan. As a result, just hanging on to the football was a challenge, as both teams combined for seven turnovers. Neither team earned a first down on their first two drives, which resulted in a scoreless opening quarter.
Noxubee County got the first score of the second half on a 9-yard scramble by 5-foot-10 sophomore quarterback Timorrius Conner. After the athletic quarterback found the end zone, Shorter decided to go for what he thought would be the game-winning two-point conversion, but the snap was fumbled on the failed run.
Conner struggled to get the passing attack going in the downpour and finished 6 of 24 for just 67 yards with a interception.
Conner’s late fumble on a fourth-quarter scramble led to a touchdown scamper by Ewing on a option draw play that helped seal the deal.
“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 team’s throats and playing man-on-man football.”
West Point will enter 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.
Follow Matt Stevens on Twitter @matthewcstevens.