Last season, McComb fell to Tylertown, 13-6 in Week 3 of the regular season. Fast forward a year later, and it was the Tigers who returned the favor to the Chiefs blanking their visitors from Walthall County 21-0 Friday night.
“We actually gave the defense the game ball. We are really proud of them,” McComb head coach Willie Brown said.
The Tiger defense stepped up preventing points from being put on the board despite the Chiefs getting three early first downs.
However, the McComb offense got off to a bit of a slow start as well, going three-and-out on its first drive before punting the ball away.
Late in the opening quarter, McComb (3-0) lit up its side of the scoreboard first. Junior quarterback Chris Roberson led a five-play, 65-yard drive that wrapped when he scampered into the south end zone from 18-yards out. Ryan Tidwell added the extra point, putting the Tigers up 7-0.
Tylertown (2-1) tried to answer back but fumbled the ball on the ensuing kickoff giving it right back to the Tigers on the Chief 42. However, McComb could not capitalize and punted the ball back to the visitors.
Following a 3-and-out by the Tiger defense, Anthony Magee increased the McComb lead taking in the punt and returning it 64-yards for a score. With the Tidwell extra point, the Tigers took a 14-0 lead with 8:50 to go until the half.
“When I caught the ball, I looked in front of me and I hit them with a jab step and hit the sideline as quick as I can,” Magee said. “I saw good blocks and ran it in. There were good blocks from the punt team.”
After getting the ball back late in the first half, the Tiger offense went back to work. Fueled by a 31-yard run by Roberson, McComb was set up to add to its lead. Three plays later Roberson showed his passing skills, hooking up with Magee on an 18-yard touchdown pass across the middle. On the Tidwell extra point attempt, the ball hit off of a McComb players helmet and sailed over the crossbar for a successful try.
With the score, the Tigers took a 21-0 lead at the half.
The Chiefs came out after halftime looking to get back in the ball game and forced a three-and-out on the Tigers’ opening possession.
Tylertown sophomore quarterback Kendrick Lampton rallied his team and helped orchestrate a 20-play, 68-yard drive which took the majority of the time off the third quarter clock.
And despite the Chiefs moving the ball deep into Tiger territory, the McComb defense stepped up once again, preventing Tylertown running back Javonte Walker from getting into the end zone on a short pass from Lampkin on a 4th and goal from the six. The senior was tackled on the one-yard line.
“Anytime you get the shutout when they have the ball inside the 5-yard line and they did not score, what else can you say,” Brown said. “Coach (Dedrick) Johnson is doing a good job.”
But with being deep in their own territory, the Tigers had their work cut out for them early in the fourth quarter. They managed to move the ball out to their 10, but a penalty pushed it back to the five where they were forced to punt.
Following the punt return, Tylertown took over at the McComb 33, still looking for its first points of the game. Facing a 3rd and 2 at the 25-yard line, Lampton was hit and dropped in the backfield for a one-yard loss before being sacked on the ensuing play by Reggie Bonds for a 13-yard loss dashing the hopes of the Chiefs.
From there, the Tigers played the clock management game, running it out and preserving the win at home.
Roberson led the Tigers with a touchdown each on the ground and through the air. The Tiger rushing attack was powered by sophomore Wil’Tavious Hebert who had 15 carries for 53 yards and Ja’qaveon Anderson who finished with 66 yards on 11 carries. Like Roberson, Magee also had two touchdowns on the night with the 18-yard reception and the 62-yard punt return.
For Tylertown head coach Osborne Holmes, he said that it is back to the drawing board for his team. “They (McComb) wanted it more, they wanted it more,” he said. “They were the better team tonight. Hands down, they were better.”
After the game, Roberson said that it was vital that his Tigers kept the momentum for the majority of the game adding that his defense played a huge role in doing this.
“It is very important to have momentum,” he said. “I feel like momentum helps win games. I give props to our defense, they played a heck of a game.”