CRAWFORD – The East Oktibbeha Titans were hoping to match their last home victory over Ethel with another one on Friday night.
It didn't take the Titans long to find out that was going to be a difficult task.
The defending Class A State Champion Noxapater Tigers visited East Oktibbeha looking for their sixth-straight victory and left with that in hand after the 48-6 result.
It was homecoming for the Titans as they also included a "Pink-out" in support of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
After losing their first two games of the season, the Tigers outscored their opponents 180-13 during their five-game winning streak.
The running game of Noxapater was too much for the Titans defense to shut down in the first quarter.
The Tigers exhibited a triple-threat running game that was present from the start of the game.
Quarterback Tyrell Carter, accompanied by running backs Trey Baber and Katorris Coburn accumulated over 150 yards on the ground by halftime, with touchdowns coming from all three of Noxapater's triple threat. Carter also threw a 19-yard pass for a touchdown on the first play of the second quarter.
East Oktibbeha head coach Randy Brooks was none too pleased about the defensive effort out of his team.
"Terrible," Brooks said. "We did not play well and we let them off the hook."
The lone score for the Titans came from a 43-yard pass by Justin Williams, who connected with receiver Destin Covington for the touchdown. Williams started off the game as an offensive presence, rushing for an average of 7 yards a carry on the first three plays of the game for East Oktibbeha.
However, Noxapater's defense began to shut down Williams' run game, forcing him to throw the ball.
Williams ended the first half completing less than half of his throws, as well as throwing two interceptions and one touchdown.
East Oktibbeha was physically worn down by the end of the third quarter, while the Tigers continued its dominance on both sides of the ball through the entire game. The Titans drove the ball down to the Noxapater 2-yard line, but were stopped on fourth down after losing yards on all four downs inside the Noxapater 5-yard line.
Carter followed up Noxapater's defensive stand with a big set of plays, running for 50 yards in two plays, including his third touchdown of the night, a 1-yard rush.
While Carter was shining under the Friday night lights, East Oktibbeha's Williams continued to struggle during the second half. Williams threw his third interception of the game in the fourth quarter which led to another touchdown for Noxapater after Carter connected with receiver Anthony Brown for a 20-yard touchdown pass on the first play of the Tiger drive.
Offensively, the Titans simply could not get going the entire night due to the constant defensive pressure of Noxapater. Defensively, the Titans could not seem to get a good hold of the opponent, resulting in many broken tackles and countless yards after contact for the Tigers. The struggle to get going on both sides of the ball, paired with the overwhelming tenacity of their opponents, East Oktibbeha ended their homecoming night with a big loss. The Titans allowed Noxapater to score 48 points, the largest amount of points scored all season for the Tigers, as well as losing by 42 points, which is also a season high for Noxapater.
Brooks said all East Oktibbeha can do is move forward.
"We did not play like we should have, and now we just have to look to next week," Brooks said.
With the loss, the Titans hope to look ahead to their road match-up against Pelahatchie next Friday. East Oktibbeha stands 2-5 overall and 1-3 in the division.
Playoffs look to be out of reach for the Titans this season, but senior Juwan Roberts is hopeful for a few more wins, as well as the potential for next year's team.
"If we can listen to our coaches better, we can win more games this season," Roberts said. "As far as next season, we have a few players that will do a great job in leading the team next year."