LOUISVILLE, Miss. - The Noxubee County offense looked vulnerable during the first half Friday night against Louisville.
The Tigers threw an interception and were also stopped on fourth-and-goal from the 1-yard line and headed into the half scoreless.
But the Tigers scored three times in less than five minutes in the third quarter en route to a 32-0 win, their fifth shutout of the season.
"We struggled around and fluttered around in that first half," said Noxubee County coach M.C. Miller. "But we came out in the second half and played better ball and got some fire in us. I don't know what it was coming off that West Point game. I don't know why they wanted to take Louisville lightly because Louisville has got a good ball club. But they responded and we came back."
Noxubee County improved to 6-0 and has outscored their opponents 265-7 on the season. The Tigers also took advantage of five Louisville turnovers in the second half.
"In the first half we were very pleased," said Louisville head coach Brad Peterson. "We told them that we had to protect the football and couldn't have any turnovers and we couldn't do that. Anytime you play a Top 10 football team or any program you can't turn the ball over and that's what we did. That hurt us bad. Noxubee is a great football team and are definitely deserving of their ranking."
The Tigers rolled up 324 total yards on offense with 179 yards passing, 145 yards rushing and even added 135 yards in the return game.
Termarcus Conner threw four touchdown passes for Noxubee County hitting on 12-of-21 passing for 179 yards and one interception.
"We've been waiting on this game and practicing for this game all week," Conner said. "We were prepared. I told our receivers that I was going to get it to them. I couldn't get all of them but I was able to get some of them. Tonight I got it to most of them."
Patrick Patterson was on the receiving end of two of Conner's TD passes and hauled in seven passes for 129 yards on the evening. Vincent Sanders also caught a pair of scores for the Tigers.
Patreon Hopkins paced the Noxubee rushing attack with 18 carries for 95 yards.
After the first half stalemate, the two teams traded turnovers to start the third quarter.
The Wildcats second giveaway on the quarter turned into the first points of the night. Ladaruis Mitchell recovered a fumble and two plays later Conner hit Patterson on a 31-yard scoring strike. Patterson missed the extra point but Louisville were penalized for roughing the kicker so the Tigers elected to convert a two-point play when Conner hit Patterson again for the 8-0 lead.
"We know Patrick is going to make some plays sooner or later," Miller said. "It's just a matter of time so we just try to keep getting it to him and hope something comes through."
Louisville fumbled again on its next play from scrimmage to set up another Tiger touchdown. Conner and Patterson again hooked up on a 16-yard pass. The extra point was nearly a replay of the last as Patterson's try was no good but Louisville was flagged for roughing. Hopkins instead ran the ball in for the 16-0 advantage.
The Tigers put point up again on its next possession taking advantage of a 59-yard punt return by Teddy Young to the LHS 21-yard line. Noxubee needed only three plays to cash in on the good field position as Conner found Vincent in the left corner of the end zone for the score. Hopkins punched in the two-point play extending the lead to 24-0.
The final Tiger touchdown came off another Louisville turnover. Noxubee County picked off Wildcat quarterback and Ole Miss commitment Clayton Moore for the second time. Raycardo Harper snagged the pick to set up Conner's final touchdown pass to Sanders from 9-yards out. ran in the two point play with 7:20 left in the game to wrap up the scoring.
The Wildcats managed just 82 yards of total offense and dropped to 5-2 on the year. Louisville had 55 yards on the ground and 27 via the air.
Moore led the Wildcats in both categories rushing 12 times for 31 yards and hit on 3-of-16 passing for 24 yards and two interceptions.
Highly touted recruit Dennis Thames returned to action for the first time since suffering a knee injury to start at linebacker for Louisville. Thames was used sparingly on offense carrying four times for 15 yards and catching one pass for three yards.
Mississippi State committ Deontae Skinner led Noxubee County with 12 tackles.
Noxubee County 32, Louisville 0
Scoring by Quarters:
Noxubee 0 0 24 8 – 32
Louisville 0 0 0 0 – 0
NC – Patrick Patterson 31 yard pass from Termarcus Conner (Patterson pass from Conner)
NC- Patterson 16 yard pass from Conner (Patreon Hopkins run)
NC- Vincent Sanders 18 yard pass from Conner (Hopkins run)
NC- Sanders 9 yard pass from Conner (Toddrick Tate run)
First Downs: NC 11; LHS 7
Rushing: NC 35-145; LHS 30-55
Passing: NC 12-21-179-1; LHS 4-17-27-2
Return Yards: NC 135; LHS 21
Penalties: NC 13-145; LHS 5-14
Turnovers: NC 2; LHS 5
Rushing: Noxubee – Patreon Hopkins 18-95, Termarcus Conner 3-26, Earnest Harmon 6-17, Toddrick Tate 4-12, Patrick Patterson 1-2, Danarius Hunt 1-1, Team 2 (-8); Louisville – Clayton Moore 12-31, Dennis Thames 4-15, Fred Parker 7-8, Zan Carter 2-5, Jeffery Moore 1-2, Antwan Bragg 1-0, Jordon Christon 1-0, Chris Wraggs 1-(-2), Team 1-(-4)
Passing: Noxubee- Termarcus Conner 12-21-179-4-1, Louisville- Clayton Moore 3-16-24-0-1, Chris Wraggs 1-1-3-0-0
Receiving: - Noxubee – Patrick Patterson 7-129 2 TD, Vincent Sanders 3-43 2 TD, Teddy Young 1 (-1); Louisville – Fred Parker 2-13, Markese Triplett 1-11, Dennis Thames 1-3