IAHS routed in road contest against Pontotoc

By SCOTTY NICHOLS
Sports Editor

PONTOTOC – Last Friday night’s contest between Itawamba AHS

PHOTO BY SCOTTY NICHOLS I BUY AT PHOTOS.ITAWAMBATIMES.COM IAHS's Moe Bellamy (25), Vince Hughes (40) and Channing Caygle (28) join forces to take down Pontotoc running back Gabe Harmon.

PHOTO BY SCOTTY NICHOLS I BUY AT PHOTOS.ITAWAMBATIMES.COM
IAHS’s Moe Bellamy (25), Vince Hughes (40) and Channing Caygle (28) join forces to take down Pontotoc running back Gabe Harmon.

and Pontotoc was billed to be a slugfest between two Division 1-4A heavyweights that would go down to the wire.

It was anything but. The Warriors started fast and raced to a convincing 40-19 win over the visiting Indians.

“We came out and hit some explosive plays early,” said Pontotoc head coach Jeff Carter. “We managed to get some turnovers and turn them into some quick scores in the first half, which helped out tremendously.”

IAHS marched down the field on its opening drive and turned the ball over on downs after chewing more than five minutes off the clock. Pontotoc struck almost immediately when Jacob Carter found Darryl Dilworth on a post route for a 35-yard touchdown.

Carter then scored on a 15-yard run after a quick IAHS possession to give the Warriors a 13-0 lead after one quarter.

The Indians managed to break onto the scoreboard with a 3-yard touchdown run from Jamal Shumpert with 9:27 to go in the half, but it was the Warrior show after that.

Pontotoc got a quick stop and turned it into a quick seven points when Carter hit Gabe Wilson for a 64-yard touchdown just over a minute later.

Tanner Hendrix recovered an IAHS fumble on the next possession to set up a 15-yard touchdown run by Dilworth that opened up a 27-6 lead with over five minutes left in the first half.

Down 40-6 at the half and clearly stunned, the Indians turned it around a bit in the second half to take a few positives into the final week of the regular season.

With starters from both squads finishing the game, the IAHS defense managed to hold the high-powered Pontotoc offense out of the end zone and severely limit their ball movement for the final 24 minutes, while the offense moved the ball and found their way to pay dirt on two occasions.

PHOTO BY SCOTTY NICHOLS I BUY AT PHOTOS.ITAWAMBATIMES.COM IAHS wide receiver Caleb Whittle (2) hauls in a pass from quarterback Austin King during action in Pontotoc.

PHOTO BY SCOTTY NICHOLS I BUY AT PHOTOS.ITAWAMBATIMES.COM
IAHS wide receiver Caleb Whittle (2) hauls in a pass from quarterback Austin King during action in Pontotoc.

Tailback Lamarcus Rhodes bulled his way into the end zone for a touchdown early in the fourth quarter, then Austin King found Jaden Smith on a slant route for a 54-yard touchdown near the end of the game.

Caleb Whittle caught a career-high 11 passes for 127 yards but was unable to break loose for a score, as the Warriors did a great job containing him in space.

Whittle is now just 53 yards shy of 1,000 receiving yards on the season, with 45 catches for 947 yards and nine touchdowns.

Rhodes ran for 100 yards and a touchdown to keep his average at the 100 yards-per-game mark, while also averaging more than six yards per carry.

King is around 100 yards shy of 2,000 passing yards on the season, after a 200-plus yard showing against the Warriors. King tossed a touchdown pass, but also pitched a pair of interceptions.

The Indians have secured a playoff spot, and will host the rival Tishomingo County Braves this Friday to close out the regular season.

The Indians haven’t lost to the Braves since a 33-28 road defeat in 2006.

scotty.nichols@journalinc.com
Twitter: @ScotNic24

About Scotty Nichols

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

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