By Brad Locke/NEMS Daily Journal
By Brad Locke
AMORY – Amory’s high-flying offense can move pretty well on the ground, too.
The Panthers, who had the state’s most prolific passing attack last year, ran early and often in Friday’s 48-14 season-opening win over Mooreville at Longenecker Field. Dario Robinson, Amory’s No. 1 receiver, actually did his damage by running the ball.
The Panthers, No. 5 in the Daily Journal’s Class 4A/3A rankings, had 416 total yards, including 196 rushing. Seven of Amory’s first 10 plays were runs, and Robinson had 54 yards and two TDs rushing, all by halftime.
“We want to be a team that doesn’t come out here and say, hey, you can key on one guy,” Amory coach Trent Hammond said. “We’ve got five really good players out there on the edge, and we wanted the ball in their hands.”
Robinson had just one catch for 15 yards. That’s a bit off his pace of last season, when he had 2,191 receiving yards.
“I like running the ball,” Robinson said. “It don’t matter, as long as I get the ball.”
Forest Williams passed for 5,100 yards and 55 TDs last year, but his replacement, John Davis Poss, handled the offense well Friday. In about two-and-a-half quarters of work, the sophomore completed 12 of 19 passes for 210 yards and a touchdown. He also rushed for 55 yards and two scores.
“He came into the game prepared, he was mentally prepared in the locker room,” Robinson said. “He came out and showed it, and he played big.”
Mooreville had just 19 first-quarter yards and didn’t record a first down until midway through the second quarter, by which point Amory led 35-0.
Mooreville, a Class 3A school, managed 117 total yards. Tailback Josh Johnson, the only big offensive threat back from last season’s playoff squad, rushed for 38 yards.
“That’s a perfect example of what happens when you get youth versus experience,” Mooreville coach Kevin Austin said.
Amory wasted little time scoring on its first drive of the game, going 57 yards on six plays in under two minutes. Robinson scampered in from 9 yards out for a 7-0 lead.
Poss added to that with a 4-yard TD run and a 34-yard scoring toss to Devin McIntosh, who finished with 92 yards on four catches.