HERNANDO – Rashad Dixon rushed for 127 yards and a pair of touchdowns and passed for two more to lead Pontotoc to a 30-26 comeback win on the road against Hernando on Friday night.
The junior quarterback ran for 108 yards and a touchdown in the first half to help the Warriors (2-0) overcome a 14-0 second-quarter deficit. He tossed back-to-back 34-yard TD passes to Shaquille Crayton in the fourth quarter to complete the rally against the Class 5A Tigers.
“We only throw it when we have to,” said Dixon, who completed 3 of 14 for 86 yards with two TDs and one interception. “When you have success running it, of course you’ll keep running it. But when we have to throw it, we’ll throw it and we’ll have success with it.”
Hernando (0-1) put together 97- and 70- yard drives in its first two possessions to go ahead 14-0 on a 1-yard run by junior quarterback Travus McMahan with 7 minutes, 38 seconds remaining in the first half.
Pontotoc responded with an 80-yard drive, capped by Dixon’s 13-yard scamper with 2:46 left in the half.
“We ran out of gas,” said Hernando coach Anthony Jenkins, who is in his 24th year with the program. “We didn’t play a jamboree and we looked like this was our first game. Pontotoc looked like they had played a game.”
Trailing 26-14 heading into the final quarter, Pontotoc’s defense contributed some key plays that helped turn the tide. A botched snap on a Hernando punt was followed by the first scoring pass from Dixon to Crayton with 10:53 left in the match.
On Hernando’s following possession, Michael Walters recovered a fumble that set up Dixon’s second TD pass. A sack by Don Fauver led to a safety and another by Montgomery helped finish the rally.
“Our defense finally got it together and made some stops for us,” said first-year Pontotoc coach Ken Byars. “Anytime you play a 5A school that runs a Wing-T, it’s tough. Our defensive guys never quit and they had plenty of opportunities.”
Jay Tidwell/Special to the Journal