FULTON – Jerry Davis, a senior defensive back, returned an interception 71 yards for a touchdown and set a defensive tone for New Albany that ended with a 20-7 win over Itawamba AHS in area high school football action Friday.
Davis’ play came after the Bulldogs (2-0) were unable to do much with solid field position early. New Albany had the ball on its 49 but had nothing to show for it.
After the change of possession Davis stepped in front of a Tyler Dossett pass and took it the distance.
“That gave us some early confidence and flipped the field position,” New Albany coach Ron Price said.
Bulldogs linebacker Riley Alef also had an interception, and that led to a second-quarter touchdown and a 20-0 lead for the visitors.
IAHS (1-1) got on the board not long before the half when Dossett passed 10 yards to Justin Barrow. The touchdown was set up with a short field after a blocked punt.
After the Davis pick, the Bulldogs stretched their lead with a 41-yard pass from Spencer Day to Josh Creekmore.
New Albany didn’t score in the second half, but its defense made sure Itawamba didn’t either.
“We played solid defense all last year,” Price said. “We’ve got six returnees on defense, and the guys who have stepped in and filled shoes really take pride in playing on the defensive side. I’m thrilled to death with our defensive performance. We’ve got to give them a little help offensively.”
In other action:
Lafayette County 42, Greenwood 0: At Greenwood, Demarkus Dennis scored on touchdown runs of 24, 46 and 75 yards, and the Commodores, ranked No. 1 in the Daily Journal’s poll of area large schools, reached the 40-point mark for the second straight week.
Dennis’ 24-yard run gave Lafayette a 7-0 lead at the end of one, and the Commodores (2-0) outscored Greenwood 28-0 in the second quarter.
Dennis’ long run came in the second quarter, and Jamal Dennis, Jeremy Liggins and Josh Barry joined the scoring parade as well. Jamal Dennis and Liggins scored on runs of 4 and 7 yards respectively, and Barry returned an interception 23 yards for a score.
Oxford 38, Charleston 25: The Chargers (1-1) bounced back from a controversial opening-week loss by holding off a late charge from Charleston.
A 40-yard field goal by Cody Mills put Oxford up 38-13. Charleston (0-2) responded with a pair of touchdown passes by Antwan Wilson, who also scored on a 79-yard run, but it was too little too late.
Oxford rallied from a 13-7 deficit with 31-straight points. Mont Dean preceded the Mills field goal with touchdown runs of 3 and 13 yards and also caught a 13-yard scoring pass from Parker Adamson.
William Elliott scored on an 80-yard interception return in the mid-game blitz, and Adamson hooked up with Stan Ivy on a 78-yard scoring play in the first quarter.
Belmont 32, Mantachie 7: At Belmont, the Cardinals won their season opener as Byron Southward rushed for 125 yards on nine carries.
Southward scored on a 9-yard run, and Belmont also got rushing touchdowns from Alexander Fancher and Jordan Powell and a 13-yard touchdown pass from Colin Harris to Zac Carpenter.
Mantachie (0-2) got its only points in the third quarter when Zach Jones passed 19 yards to Jack Nichols.
South Pontotoc 49, Ethel 27: At Ethel, South Pontotoc gave up 27 points in the first half but nothing in the second.
The Cougars trailed 27-14 at halftime but scored 35 points in the second half to win going away. South Pontotoc (1-1) scored twice in the first quarter, an 85-yard kick return by Matt Bailey and a 20-yard interception return by Trent Priest.
There was more offensive consistency in the second half as Alex Pannell scored on runs of 27 and 3 yards, and Davis Wilson, Keith Flowers and Jay Wade also had touchdown runs.
Kossuth 42, Corinth 21: At Kossuth, the Aggies (2-0) scored at least once in every quarter, amassing 425 yards of offense along the way.
Zach Cooper carried 21 times for 106 yards and a touchdown, and Jay Vanderford was 8-for-12 passing for 122 yards and scoring throws to Tyler Pittman and Heath Wood.
Pittman also ran for 88 yards and two touchdowns.
Corinth’s (0-1) three touchdowns were all courtesy of Debrico Agnew, who scored on an 86-yard kick return and runs of 9 and 50 yards.
Calhoun City 34, Houston 21: At Calhoun City, Houston took a 7-0 lead on a 29-yard pass from Sharone Wright to Brennan Pugh, but the Wildcats scored 34 straight points.
Tae Lawrence scored on runs of 20 and 3 yards, and Tavion Primer scored on a 9-yard run, all in the second quarter.
Lawrence passed 66 yards to Time Jones in the first quarter for the Wildcats’ first score.
NEMS Daily Journal