By Brandon Speck/Monoroe Journal
ABERDEEN – Amory made the 74th Annual A-Game interesting with two first half touchdowns. The Daily Journal’s top-ranked Class 3A Aberdeen Bulldogs weren’t interested in keeping it interesting.
Aberdeen (3-1) led 26-12 at the half and a 55-yard fumble returned for a touchdown by Jonnie Wilson closed out a 60-12 win in the storied Monroe County rivalry.
Hodges had his best game thus far with 21 rushes for 243 yards. Two of his three touchdowns ca,e in the first half.
Aberdeen coach Chris Duncan said he saw a lot of things to work on before Okolona visits in a week.
“I think we played lethargic the whole first half,” Duncan said, “no intensity, no emotion. We just didn’t play the way we’ve been playing the last couple of weeks. The second half we kind of turned it on a little bit.”
Amory quarterback Forest Williams threw first half touchdowns to Dario Robinson and Walton Chaney, Robinson’s for a 6-0 lead and Chaney’s to pull within 14-12, but Aberdeen scored the next 46 points.
“It was stuff that we weren’t really ready for that we hadn’t seen,” Duncan said. “We had to make some adjustments. In the second half we did a better job with it. That’s what you’ve got to do.”
In the first half, Hodges scored on runs of 34 and 12 and in front of Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen, highly-recruited tackle Channing Ward scored on an 80-yard run down the home sideline. Freshman Chico Harrison scored from two yards out as well in the opening 24 minutes.
“We were sloppy in the first half a little bit,” defensive back Brandon Smith said. “We turned it up. Vic did and amazing job, Channing like always. The defense stepped up.”
Amory coach Trent Hammond declined to comment after the loss, Amory’s second straight and Hammond’s first in the series. His team fell to 1-3.
In the second half, Aberdeen made it 33-12 after Hodges’ third score, a 33-yard run through at least eight tackles and Justin Lucas scored from a yard out after quarterback Desmond Jones’ 26-yard run to the goal line.
Aberdeen’s 21-point fourth quarter started with Ward’s second touchdown, an 11-yard pass from Jones and Jalen Devauld’s 65-yard touchdown catch from Jones.
“For whatever reason, we weren’t ready,” Duncan said. “Maybe it’s a learning experience and we’ll get better from it and understand what we’ve got to do. We got a win out of it, I guess it’s all right.”