FULTON – Just after walking off the field at the conclusion of the game, Itawamba Indians head coach Jon Williams indicated he had not schemed a fourth-quarter comeback as part of the game plan.
But that is what his Indians needed – and delivered.
For the second straight week, ICC dug itself out of a hole, this time with three fourth-quarter scores to edge the Coahoma Tigers 27-26 on Saturday in a key North Division matchup.
“In this league, there is no thing as an ugly win,” said Williams, whose Indians are still alive for a playoff spot with the victory. “I was not satisfied with our first half.
“We challenged the team at halftime, and they responded.”
The Indians (3-3, 2-1) probably heard a few select words at the intermission trailing 20-7.
Another thing Williams did not scheme was an extensive use of a “Wild Indian” formation. But that is what ICC ended up doing for most of the third quarter, with Shannon’s William Green and Keon McGaughy taking direct snaps.
That helped the Indians’ offense establish a field position advantage in the quarter, eventually leading to the first score of the second half in the fourth period.
Two plays into the final quarter, McGaughy sweep left, scoring on a 12-yard run to cut the Coahoma (2-4, 2-2) margin to 20-14.
Coahoma responded quickly, beginning with a 65-yard kickoff return. That set up a 9-yard run by Courtney Vaughn, and the Tigers were back to a comfortable 26-14 lead.
ICC turned the ball over on downs its next possession, then found itself deep in its own end of the field when it got the football back. But quarterback Andy Wilson completed seven passes on a 91-yard drive, capped by a 2-yard DeShawn McGaughy score, and with 4 minutes, 57 second left, ICC trailed 26-21.
Itawamba got the ball back with over three minutes to play, and Wilson completed two passes to help the Indians down to the Tigers 23-yard line. There, a nice pump by Wilson helped to free Aberdeen’s Erick Buchanan for the go-ahead score with 2:33 left.
Coahoma was able to drive down to the ICC 15-yard line, but with no time outs, the Tigers ran out of time.
“The kids came out in the second half and played much better,” Williams said. “There were no real adjustments at the half, it was just an attitude adjustment.”
The Indians scored on their first possession with the help of the Wild Indian. A pass from Pontotoc’s Canden Dallas to Fulton’s Dillon Mitchell for 45 yards set up a 3-yard run by Keon McGaughy.
Coahoma countered with a 10-yard reception by Hollis Moore, a 3-yard run by Vaughn, and a 49-yard reception by Fred Plummer for touchdowns.
Keon McGaughy managed 104 tough yards rushing for ICC, with Wilson coming off the bench to pass for 184 yards.
n Game summary, Page 2C
DAVID WHEELER / NEMS Daily Journal