TYLERTOWN — In a year that has been anything but typical, McComb and Tylertown played a pretty standard high school football season opener Friday night.
Both teams made several mistakes combining for nearly 250 yards in penalties, but the Tigers used a balanced rushing attack and a stifling defense to pick up a 20-0 victory over the Chiefs.
McComb racked up 150 yards on 13 penalties, while Tylertown was flagged nine times for 86 yards.
Early on, McComb made it apparent that it would be a long night for the hosts. Following a Tylertown three and out, the Tiger offense marched from its’ own 37-yard line to the Chiefs’ 10 in seven plays. On first down, junior running back Wiltayvious Herbert fumbled just before he crossed the goal line. Tylertown recovered in the end zone, thwarting the Tiger drive.
Herbert made up for his mistake six plays later when he intercepted a Kendrick Lampton pass, and raced untouched 52 yards for a touchdown. The two- point conversion failed, giving McComb a 6-0 lead.
On the ensuing kickoff, McComb surprised the Chiefs’ with a pooch kick that was recovered by senior Marquise Williams, giving the Tiger offense possession at the Tylertown 34. Following runs of 19 and 13 yards by Lakevion Harris, senior quarterback Chris Roberson scored on a 2-yard keeper to give McComb a 12-0 lead.
The Tigers rolled up 188 yards of total offense, with Harris, Herbert, and Roberson doing most of the heavy lifting. Harris led the way with 61 yards on nine carries. Roberson added 50 yards and a score on eight carries, while Herbert totaled 48 yards on 13 totes. The junior suffered a lower leg injury late in the third quarter, and did not return.
“He’s (Herbert) one of our leaders,” McComb Head Coach Willie Brown said after the game. “We’re not going to rush it, we’re going to take our time and make sure he comes back right.”
Showing that leadership, Herbert felt it was apparent what his team needed to go to keep the momentum going following the win. “We were the stronger team tonight,” he said. “But we need to get in shape.”
“We didn’t have a spring, and we couldn’t do anything until real late in summer and so it had an effect on both teams,” Brown said. “But we’re just happy to get a win.”
Two plays after Herbert’s injury, McComb added some insurance when Gabriel Butler scored on a five-yard run. Kharel Coney’s two-point conversion run gave the Tigers the final margin of 20-0.
The McComb defense held the Chiefs’ offense in check for most of the night, limiting Tylertown to only 140 yards of offense. The Chiefs’ deepest penetration of the night was the McComb 16, and the Chiefs’ ran only two plays inside the visitors’ 20 on the night.
Greg Dillon led the way for Tylertown with 39 yards on nine carries, while Lampton was held to 21 yards on 5 carries.
Following the game, Tylertown Head Coach Osborne Holmes said afterwards he was pleased with the effort that his team showed.
“We played hard from the first quarter, through the fourth quarter, and that’s all you can ask for,” he said.
Holmes also felt that the delayed start to the season did not factor into his teams’ miscues in the contest. “We just lost to a better team tonight,” he said.
McComb will open their home schedule next Friday night when they entertain Brookhaven, while Tylertown will travel to take on 6A power Germantown.