By Zach Adams/The Itawamba County Times
FULTON – For head coach Toby Collums and his Itawamba AHS Indians, Friday’s game against Nettleton was all about avoiding a let down.
Coming off a thrilling overtime victory over New Albany last week and still missing star running back and safety Ashton Shumpert, the Indians relied on a potent rushing attack led by senior running back Charles Moore to defeat the Tigers 35-9 and remain unbeaten.
“We got it going early and finished strong,” said Moore, who rushed for 188 yards and three touchdowns on 10 carries. “I just kept running for my team.”
Itawamba (3-0) scored on each of its five possessions in the first half beginning with a 26-yard strike from quarterback Tyler Dossett to Peyton Green minutes into the contest.
The Tigers, who looked good on offense early but struggled with penalties down the stretch, responded with a 76-yard touchdown strike of their own when Dakota Cruber hooked up with Levert Jernigan to bring the game within one point after a failed two-point conversion.
That was as close as the contest would ever be, however, as Moore began to carve up the Nettleton (0-3) defense, scoring on touchdown runs of 25, 21 and 14 yards. Dossett also added another touchdown pass, this time a 33-yard strike to Makel Hamer, to give the Indians a 35-6 halftime lead.
The third quarter saw Itawamba pull the majority of its offensive starters, a move that dramatically slowed the pace of the game.
Nettleton kicker D.J. Parker scored the only points of the second half when he booted a 24-yard field goal in the closing seconds of the third quarter.
“Coming into the week, we tried to stress to them on Monday that you can’t let last Friday night define your season,” Collums said. “We had a poor practice on Monday, but the seniors stepped up on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday to make it a good week of practice. All in all, I think we came out and played pretty well.”
Dossett finished 2-for-3 through the air for 59 yards and two TDs, while Cruber was 8-for-16 for 142 yards and a score.
Itawamba will enjoy an open date next week.