West Lowndes defeated divisional foe Leake County 48-6 on Friday on the Panthers’ home turf on homecoming night.
After a big loss last week to Sebastopol, West Lowndes head coach Anthony King said the win couldn’t have come at a more opportune moment. “I think the team (Leake County) was the right opponent for the right situation,” King said. “We’re coming off a loss, we’ve got homecoming — we really needed a win, and we came out, played physical … It was a perfect situation.”
It was a commanding win for West Lowndes in virtually all facets of the game as Jaquavious Tate made his final homecoming game one to remember. The senior safety/running back was able to grab three picks on the night, one of which he returned for a 59-yard pick-six.
Tate was also able to find the end zone on the ground, as he racked up two more touchdowns as part of the potent Panthers rushing attack.
After the game, Tate said he was more than satisfied with his final homecoming performance.
“I was just hyped, man,” Tate said. “(It was) my last ride, my last homecoming, man. I just had to give the fans something and show them what I was about.”
The victory pushed West Lowndes to a 4-2 record on the season but more importantly a 2-1 record in MHSAA Class 1A, Region 3. That’s good enough for third place in the divisional standings behind Vardaman (5-1, 2-0 Region 3-1A) and Hamilton (6-0, 2-0 Region 3-1A).
Among homecoming festivities was a new idea that brought out West Lowndes alumni and fans in droves. The school held a 50-year reunion for all graduation classes dating back to 1972, and it worked. The line to get into the stadium was still 100 people long at 7:00, just half an hour before kickoff.
Alumni gathered to share stories with younger graduates about their time at what was then called Motley High School and watch their boys of fall take the field in their colors that haven’t changed since those Motley days.
After the game, King discussed the challenges his team faces looking ahead on the schedule.
The Panthers will try and push their divisional standing even higher in hopes of hosting a playoff matchup next week against French Camp Academy on the road. That game begins at 7 p.m., as 7:30 p.m. kickoffs ended Friday with the end of September.
“French Camp is a great team,” said King. “We’ve got to play them on the road, (and that’s) a tough place to win, but we can go in there and win it … We’ve got the two toughest teams left on the schedule at home. I like our chances.”
West Lowndes 48, Leake County 6
Leake County (0-5) 0 6 0 0 — 6
West Lowndes (4-2) 16 8 16 8 — 48
WL — Elijah Johnson 22 run (Jaquavious Tate run)
WL — Jaquavious Tate 3 run (Jalen Doyle run)
LC — Jamari Moore 5 pass from Dee Armon (conversion failed)
WL — Decambi Evans 1 run (Tate run)
WL — Tate 59 interception return (Tate run)
WL — Tate 3 run (Tate run)
WL — Johnson 2 run (Tate run)
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