Surprise play gives North Pontotoc big kick in win

By NEMS Daily Journal

ECRU – The biggest play of the game was the first one.
North Pontotoc decided to open its 2010 season with an onside kick, and it worked. Five plays later, the Vikings scored on senior quarterback Brandon Bailey’s 9-yard run, and they kept on rolling to a 48-15 victory over Lewisburg on Friday.
“The turning point for us was the first kickoff,” first-year North Pontotoc coach Brian Sutton said. “My offensive coordinator (Joe Waller) likes to have the ball first, and I’m a defensive guy. We won the toss, and I really wanted our defense to play first.
“But I told them to kick it and if we get it, give it to the offense. When we did that, it pumped the kids up, and we took the ball down there and scored.”
There were more big plays to come.
With North Pontotoc leading 14-7 in the first quarter, Mitchell Cunningham took a kickoff 99 yards for the score.
Bailey helped the score balloon, with TD passes of 51 and 14 yards sandwiched around Cunningham’s return. Bailey completed 9 of 15 passes for 122 yards and two touchdowns on the night.
Lewisburg committed six turnovers in the first half.
“They took us out of our game plan early,” Lewisburg coach Butch Veazey said. “When they won the toss and deferred, we should have known something was up their sleeve.”
Cunningham scored two more times, on runs of 12 and 18 yards, the latter making it a 42-7 lead.