Indians drop 1-4A opener to Amory

By SCOTTY NICHOLS
Sports Editor

FULTON – From 2008-2014, the Itawamba AHS Indian

PHOTO BY SCOTTY NICHOLS I BUY AT PHOTOS.ITAWAMBATIMES.COM IAHS senior quarterback Austin King fires a pass to a receiver in the first half of last Friday night's 1-4A opener against Amory.

PHOTO BY SCOTTY NICHOLS I BUY AT PHOTOS.ITAWAMBATIMES.COM
IAHS senior quarterback Austin King fires a pass to a receiver in the first half of last Friday night’s 1-4A opener against Amory.

football program enjoyed an eight-game winning streak over rival Amory.

That streak snapped in Amory last year, and last week, the Panthers took it in the opposite direction.

IAHS started very slowly and found themselves behind 21-0 at halftime behind a strong Amory effort that was led by a pair of touchdown passes from quarterback Zatorious Gates and some hard running from tailbacks Jartavis Jernighan and Monzavier Latham, before ultimately falling 41-14.

The IAHS defense struggled to wrap up the Panther ball carriers, and Jernighan led Amory’s second drive of the night with nine carries for 59 yards, which he capped off with a 1-yard touchdown plunge for the first score of the night.

Gates tossed touchdown passes of 23 yards to Immanuel Jones and nine yards to Jamonte Pack to extend the lead to three touchdowns at the break, while the Indian offense was unable to get anything going in the right direction.

IAHS came out firing in the second half, promptly driving 80 yards and finishing off with a 14-yard touchdown pass from Austin King to Caleb Whittle that pulled the Indians within 21-7 early in the third quarter.

Amory responded by methodically marching back down the field, deep into Indian territory.

IAHS took advantage of the Panthers’ lone miscue of the night when Gates looked for a receiver down the visitor’s sideline and his pass was picked off by Whittle.

Whittle continued to build his resume as a dynamic playmaker, picking up a couple of nice blocks, hitting the sideline and outrunning all the Panthers for a 91-yard interception to pull IAHS to within 21-14 with three minutes to go in the third quarter.

With the momentum visibly shifting toward the home team, IAHS’s defense made their first big stand of the night to force Amory’s first three-and-out possession.

PHOTO BY SCOTTY NICHOLS I BUY AT PHOTOS.ITAWAMBATIMES.COM IAHS junior linebacker Jamal Shumpert brings down an Amory ball carrier.

PHOTO BY SCOTTY NICHOLS I BUY AT PHOTOS.ITAWAMBATIMES.COM
IAHS junior linebacker Jamal Shumpert brings down an Amory ball carrier.

Whittle received the punt and made a couple of Panthers miss, before being stood up by two members of Amory’s coverage unit.

Still on his feet, Whittle tried to wiggle free but was met by three more Panthers and the ball was raked out of his grasp.

Amory jumped on the loose ball, claiming possession deep in IAHS territory and cashed in just three plays later on a 6-yard run by Jernighan.

The conversion attempt failed, leaving the score at 27-14.
IAHS, desperately needing a score with the game now early in the fourth quarter, fell victim to plain dumb luck, as a shotgun snap ricocheted off the helmet of motion receiver Lane Domino and into the open arms of an Amory defender.

Again, with fantastic field position, Jernighan punched it in from three yards out for his third touchdown of the night to put Amory up 34-14 with just nine minutes left to play.

IAHS kicked into desperation mode, as they were down by three touchdowns and their worst enemy was the clock, and King was picked off twice down the stretch with the last one being returned 36 yards for the game’s final touchdown by Jalen Holland.

The Indians were held to less than 160 yards of total offense, while surrendering more than 350 to the rival Panthers.
IAHS suffered their first defeat of the season, falling to 5-1 on the season.

Next up for the Indians is a road match-up with the 5-1 Shannon Red Raiders this Friday night.

scotty.nichols@journalinc.com
Twitter: @ScotNic24

About Scotty Nichols

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

, ,