8/27/2014 6:00:00 AM Rockets give Luker his first Miss win
Neshoba Central's Kavonte McCarty (5) rushes towards the end on the carry.
By STEVE SWOGETINSKY Sports Editor
The Neshoba Central Rockets gave new Head Coach Stacy Luker his first victory in Mississippi Friday night as they blanked Newton County 32-0 in prep football action.
"Our kids needed something to sink their teeth into," Luker, a longtime coach in Alabama, said. "This was a good start.
"As I have been saying, we are a work in progress. Our kids have worked hard and we needed this win. We needed something to believe in. Winning is good for you," Luker said.
Neshoba Central's defense limited Newton County to 181 total yards. The Cougars had 52 yards rushing on 31 carries, and completed 10-of-18 passing attempts for 129 yards with five interceptions. Those credited with interceptions were Dez Hernandez, Jihada Hoskins, Damion Seales, Aquil Hickman and Keaton Abel.
Defensive lineman Chris Burrage led the team in tackles with 13. Corey Deaton added 10 while David Thames had nine; and Abel had eight. Cole Hodgins had six tackles and a fumble recovery.
"Our defense really played a good game," Luker said. "The offensive line also did a good job of blocking and clearing the way."
The Rockets finished with 275 yard in total offense. Neshoba Central rushed for 270 yards rushing on 41 carries, and completed 1-of-2 passes for five yards.
Kavonte McCarty was the leading rusher with 136 yards on 17 carries and three touchdowns. Fullback James Campbell had 102 yards on 15 carries and one touchdown.
After a scoreless first quarter, the Rockets scored three touchdowns and a safety in the second period to go up 23-0 at the half.
Fullback James Campbell broke the scoring ice when he ran nine yards for a touchdown. Taylor Irby kicked the extra point and the Rockets led 7-0.
McCarty got into the act later in the quarter when he scored on a 15-yard run. Irby's kick was true and the Rockets led 14-0.
The Rockets picked up a safety when a bad snap sailed out of the end zone and the Rockets led 16-0.
Then the final score of the first half came with 32 second left in the period and McCarty ran into the end zone from six yards out. Irby's kick was good and the Rockets led 23-0 at the half.
McCarty scored again in the third quarter on a 20-yard run. Irby's kick was good and the Rockets led 30-0.
The final score came on another safety when the Newton County quarterback was tackled in the end zone.
Neshoba Central travels to Kosciusko on Friday night. The Whippets are also 1-0 after defeating Winona 30-7.