Looking to finish the regular season strong Friday night, the McComb Tigers got off to a strong start early on and rode that momentum to a 34-6 road win over the Raymond Rangers.
Despite the win, the Tigers did not qualify for the playoffs due to Lanier defeating Lawrence County. As a result, McComb finished in 5th place in District 6-4A.
“I thought that they guys played really well,” McComb head coach Willie Brown said. “We played really well on defense and on offense.
The Tigers (6-4, 2-3) quickly established their game on both sides of the ball, but it was the special teams that put the first points on the scoreboard. Ja’qaveon Anderson took the opening kick back 76 yards for the score and with the Ryan Tidwell extra point, McComb raced out to a 7-0 lead.
With about seven minutes to go in the opening quarter, the Tigers made it 13-0 following a 2-yard touchdown run by junior quarterback Chris Roberson.
Early in the second quarter, a lengthy run by Wil’Tayvious Herbert helped set the Tigers up with great field position, to which they capitalized on as Anderson found the end zone from 30 yards out. Tidwell split the uprights on the extra point attempt making the score 20-0.
On the ensuing kickoff, Coach Brown rolled the dice on an onside kick attempt to which his Tigers executed successfully, regaining possession after Edric Spurlock recovered the live ball.
McComb took advantage, moving the ball down the field before Anderson scored his second rushing and third overall touchdown on the night, this time on a 5-yard run increasing the Tiger lead to 27-0.
The Rangers (3-8, 0-5) lit up their side of the score board late in the first half with their lone score of the game. Quarterback Trent Singleton ran the ball in from a yard out, narrowing the McComb lead to 27-6.
Following a scoreless third quarter, McComb added one more touchdown in the fourth as junior running back Lakeveon Harris cut through the Raymond defense and sprinted down the field for an 85-yard touchdown run. Tidwell booted the extra point through making the score 34-6.
Looking back on the year and the circumstances surrounding the playoff seeding, Brown said that an important lesson was learned by his ball club.
“We just didn’t qualify (for the playoffs) and one thing that we learned about this year is that we have to depend on ourselves, we can’t depend on anyone else to win for us,” he said.
Despite feeling disappointed about not making the playoffs, Brown added that he was pleased to see his team finish the season strong.
“It was a good win and we ended on a good note,” he said. “We just came up a few points short on those few games that we lost against South Pike, Lawrence County and North Pike.”