IAHS Indians race past New Albany

PHOTO BY SCOTTY NICHOLS I BUY AT PHOTOS.ITAWAMBATIMES.COM IAHS senior quarterback Vijay Miller (3) led the Indians out of the tunnel Friday night and then led them to victory with a brilliant second half effort that included two passing touchdowns and a 64-yard rushing score.

PHOTO BY SCOTTY NICHOLS I BUY AT PHOTOS.ITAWAMBATIMES.COM
IAHS senior quarterback Vijay Miller (3) led the Indians out of the tunnel Friday night and then led them to victory with a brilliant second half effort that included two passing touchdowns and a 64-yard rushing score.

FULTON – Turnovers are only a good thing when they’re deep fried and stuffed with some type of fruit filling.
The first half of last Friday night’s game against New Albany was full of turnovers for IAHS. Not the good kind, either.
The Indians scored on three of their first four possessions, but prevented themselves from turning the game into a blowout by turning the ball over on four of their final six possessions in the first half.
Less than two minutes into the contest, quarterback Vijay Miller handed the ball to senior linebacker Daniel Freppon, who plowed ahead for a 1-yard touchdown on his first carry out of the backfield this season.
The touchdown was set up by a beautiful 43-yard toss from Miller to wideout Taylor Mears down the home sideline on the first play of the game.
New Albany managed to score on its first possession, but the extra point failed and IAHS clinged to a 7-6 lead.
The Indians shot themselves in the foot on their next drive.A fumble inside the Bulldog 5-yard line turned over possession of the ball.
The IAHS defense held strong and forced a three-and-out to give the ball back to the offense, and they took advantage on the next series.
Ha’kee Rainey broke off a 14-yard run that was followed by a 15-yard rip by David Lacy.
Hunter White punched it in two plays later for a one-yard touchdown run to give the Indians a 14-6 lead.
New Albany managed to sustain a drive from the first quarter that rolled into the second and ended with a 6-yard touchdown run to pull within 2 points.
The score would remain 14-12, as Caleb Whittle managed to break through and block the extra point attempt.
Just three plays later, the Indians extended their lead to two possessions.
Miller tossed another perfect strike, this time to Whittle down the home sideline, for a 43-yard pickup to spot the ball at the New Albany 15.
White would do the rest. He romped untouched into the end zone for a 15-yard rushing touchdown to put the Indians up 21-12.
After a Bulldog punt, IAHS lined up to punt back after an offensive three-and-out, but the snap sailed over punter Seth Bishop’s head into the Indian end zone, where it was recovered for a New Albany touchdown.
The Bulldogs converted the 2-point conversion run to pull within 21-20.
The IAHS defense stiffened, but the offense did themselves no favors, with the final three possessions of the half resulting in a punt and a pair of fumbles.
The second half was “Miller Time” for IAHS as the senior quarterback wowed the crowd with his arm and also with his legs.
Miller was 3-for-3 for 59 yards on the first IAHS drive of the second half, with all three completions going to tight end Russell Bunch.
The final play of the drive was a 39-yard touchdown strike to Bunch that gave the Indians a 28-20 lead.
After the defense recorded a three-and-out stop, it took Miller only one play to find paydirt again. He hit Whittle in stride for a 69-yard touchdown pass to extend the lead to 35-20 with just under two minutes to go in the third quarter.
On the first offensive possession of the fourth quarter for IAHS, the Indians put the final nail in the Bulldog coffin.
White, Lacy and Rainey all ripped off big runs to put the ball at the Indian 41 after starting deep in their own territory.
Miller then broke New Albany’s spirit with his legs, keeping the ball around the left end on an option play and racing down the sideline for a 64-yard touchdown.
It appeared, momentarily, that the Bulldog defense had corralled Miller inside the 15, but Rainey hustled down the field to throw a huge block that allowed Miller to scoot into the end zone unharmed.
“I made sure to go thank Ha’kee for that block,” Miller said with a smile. “They were about to run me out of bounds, but I saw him flying up beside me. It was a great effort for him to get down there and do that.”
New Albany would score as the final buzzer sounded, but it wasn’t enough. IAHS walked away with a 42-26 win.
“We weren’t pleased, offensively, with all the turnovers,” said IAHS coach Clint Hoots. “That’s not Indian football, and we will get it fixed. Our defense stood up in the second half and Vijay did his thing. He played outstanding in the second half.”
Miller finished 8-of-16 passing for 225 yards, but had completions of 39, 69 and two of 43 yards, while adding the 64-yard touchdown run.
Whittle hauled in three passes for 121 yards and a score, while White added 114 yards and two touchdowns on the ground.
“Vijay is so smooth and Hunter is a gamer,” said IAHS offensive coordinator and former New Albany head coach Ron Price. “Those guys just flip a different switch when the lights come on Friday night.”
IAHS moves to the top spot in this week’s “Daily Journal” large school rankings and will look to improve its record to 3-0 with a visit to Saltillo this Friday night.

scotty.nichols@journalinc.com
Twitter: @ScotNic24

About Scotty Nichols

Graduate of THE University of Mississippi. #HottyToddy. I like sports. And BBQ.

, ,