By Jonathan Wise/Pontotoc Progress
ERCU – North Pontotoc’s explosive offense continued to be the story Friday night in its decisive 61-17 win over rival South Pontotoc in the annual Horton Trophy Game.
Mitchell Cunningham paced the Vikings with 152 rushing yards and five touchdowns on six carries. He also scored on a 60-yard fumble return.
“We have this saying-’link up,’” said Cunningham. “We just came out and played hard and played as a team. The line blocked really good and the holes were there.”
“I didn’t even realize he had that many,” said North Pontotoc coach Brian Sutton. “He just happened to be the one toting the football. He had a tremendous night tonight. He’s a real good football player and I am glad we have him.”
The Vikings jumped out to 27-0 first quarter lead and never looked back.
Cunningham got the scoring started with a 30-yard touchdown run with 8 minutes, 37 seconds left in the first quarter.
After recovering a surprise onside kick moments later, North soon found the end zone again by way of a 42-yard touchdown run from senior receiver Shemiah Carter.
North added two additional touchdowns in the period. Senior quarterback Caleb Mills connected with Carter on a 44-yard strike at the 3:23 mark to make it 21-0.
After driving into Viking territory, South gave up a costly fumble which led to Mitchell’s second 30-yard scamper, this one with 11 seconds remaining in the period. From that point, the Vikings continued to roll.
South was able to muster 10 points in the second quarter to make it a 34-10 halftime game, but the Vikings exploded for 27 points in the third quarter to bury the Cougars.
Cunningham was responsible for two of the scores, a 49-yard scamper with 5:08 remaining in the period and his 60-yard defensive score at the 1:03 mark.
“We just made way too many mistakes and turnovers, and you can’t do that against a good team like North,” said South coach Roger Chism.