IAHS overpowers Shannon to even 1-4A record

By SCOTTY NICHOLS
Sports Writer

FULTON – The Friday night, 7 p.m. kickoff between the Itawamba AHS

PHOTO BY SCOTTY NICHOLS I BUY AT PHOTOS.ITAWAMBATIMES.COM IAHS's Jevonta Stegall (11) and Moe Bellamy (58) drop Shannon quarterback Martavious Fells for a loss during the Indians' 28-17 division 1-4A win over the Red Raiders last Saturday.

PHOTO BY SCOTTY NICHOLS I BUY AT PHOTOS.ITAWAMBATIMES.COM
IAHS’s Jevonta Stegall (11) and Moe Bellamy (58) drop Shannon quarterback Martavious Fells for a loss during the Indians’ 28-17 division 1-4A win over the Red Raiders last Saturday.

Indians and the Shannon Red Raiders actually happened a full 24 hours later, as the field was flooded with rain and illuminated with lightning.
On Saturday night, the two division rivals got together to tangle, and it was the Indians who emerged from the wreckage with the ever-so-valuable 1-4A win, knocking off the Red Raiders 28-17.
As per usual, the IAHS offense started fast and scored a touchdown less than two minutes into the opening quarter of the contest.
Quarterback Vijay Miller connected with senior wideout Taylor Mears for a 43-yard gain down inside the Shannon 5 yard line, where tailback Hunter White finished the job with a 4-yard touchdown run to put the Indians up 7-0 early.
While both teams struggled to get their offense kick-started during the rest of the quarter, IAHS started a possession inside their own 1-yard line following a Caleb Whittle interception when a hand off attempt wasn’t cleanly distributed and the ball was fumbled.
Junior tight end Russell Bunch was the closest man on the scene as the ball squirted around dangerously in the Indian end zone and, rather than risk a Shannon touchdown, Bunch kicked the ball out of the back of the end zone for a safety.
The safety awarded Shannon 2 points, but kept them from a potential 7 or 8 points with a touchdown, so the Indians still held a 7-2 lead with just over a minute remaining in the opening quarter.
Unfortunately, the Indians also surrendered possession to the Red Raiders following the safety and were forced to free kick the ball.
Following a short kick, Shannon managed to get into the end zone when Thailon Whitfield broke loose for a 19-yard touchdown run as time ran out in the first quarter to put the Red Raiders up 9-7.
Neither offense could generate any scoring in the remainder of the first half, and the Indians missed an opportunity to score and dodged a major bullet at the same time as the first half expired.
IAHS got inside the Shannon 10, but went backwards when Miller was sacked. When the Indians lined up to attempt a field goal, Bo Sarria’s kick was blocked and recovered by the Red Raiders in stride.
It appeared that things would get really ugly for the home team after a great opportunity to score and take the lead seemed to be turning into a severe backfire and a potential larger deficit.
Fortunately for the Indians, Lane Domino didn’t give up on the play and took a great angle to bring down the Shannon ball carrier along the sideline after the buzzer had sounded to keep the Indians within 9-7 at the halftime break.
The Indians leaned heavily on the pass in the third quarter, more specifically, the Miller-to-Mears connection.
Mears hauled in a pair of touchdown passes from Miller in the third period, the first of which was a 10-yard strike that put IAHS up 14-9 with 6:49 left in the quarter, and the latter being a 27-yard hook up that pushed the lead out to 21-9 with 1:52 before the fourth quarter.
IAHS wasn’t out of the woods yet, however: The Raiders struck when Martavious Fells hit Corey Finnie for a big 64-yard touchdown as the third quarter came to a close, pulling Shannon to 21-17 following the 2-point conversion.
The Indians put the final exclamation mark on the game and put it out of reach when Miller capped off a long drive in the middle of the fourth quarter with a 2-yard touchdown run after Shannon had turned the ball over on downs in IAHS territory.

PHOTO BY SCOTTY NICHOLS I BUY AT PHOTOS.ITAWAMBATIMES.COM Hunter White (5) and Ha'kee Rainey (1) celebrate White's first quarter touchdown run against Shannon.

PHOTO BY SCOTTY NICHOLS I BUY AT PHOTOS.ITAWAMBATIMES.COM
Hunter White (5) and Ha’kee Rainey (1) celebrate White’s first quarter touchdown run against Shannon.

“Lane running down the guy after the blocked kick … man, that was huge,” said IAHS coach Clint Hoots. “We made several big plays during the game, but none was bigger than that one. We were looking at taking the lead with the field goal and Lane kept us from going down two possessions with a heads-up hustle play.”
Miller was extremely efficient throwing the ball, finishing the game 15-of-18 for 212 yards and a pair of touchdowns, and also added a rushing score.
Hunter White eclipsed the 100-yard mark for the fifth time this season, running for 107 yards on 23 carries and a touchdown. Ha’kee Rainey also averaged 5.3 yards per carry in the game, carrying the ball 11 times for 58 yards, and also added 34 yards receiving on four receptions.
Mears led IAHS in receiving with four catches for 86 yards and a pair of touchdowns. White, Bunch and Caleb Whittle also had two receptions each.
Senior linebacker Daniel Freppon was, again, a force on defense as he racked up 22 total tackles, including 12 solo.
The 28-17 win over the Red Raiders moved both teams to 1-1 inside division 1-4A moving them both into a four-way tie for second place with Corinth and Pontotoc.
Amory sits alone at the top of the division race at the moment with a 2-0 mark, while Tishomingo County is in the cellar with an 0-2 record.
IAHS will travel to Alcorn county to take on the Corinth Warriors in a pivotal division contest this Friday night.

scotty.nichols@journalinc.com
Twitter: @ScotNic24

About Scotty Nichols

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

, ,