The Red Raiders (2-6, 1-2 Division 1-4A) scored three times in the second half to try to mount a comeback, but it fell short as Amory (8-1, 3-0) held on for a 42-28 win. Amory’s Daniel Simpson picked off Shannon QB Devan Gilleylen after an onside kick to give the Red Raiders the ball back with a little over three minutes to go.
“I think we got a little comfortable with the lead coming into the second half, and that’s unacceptable, especially with the team we have coming to us next week,” said Amory QB Jon David Poss, whose Panthers host undefeated Itawamba AHS next Friday to decide the 1-4A title.
A long first drive of the game put the Panthers on the board after a Jaylon Fair 6-yard scoring run, but Shannon came back two plays later to tie it when Diamante Pounds caught a 58-yard TD pass from John Thomas Peugh. Pounds would account for 21 of the Red Raiders’ 28 points.
The Panthers stretched their lead before halftime with 21 unanswered points. Poss would throw two TDs in the final minute of the first quarter, finding Devin McIntosh for a 26-yard TD and then hitting Dario Robinson for a 65-yard scoring strike after a Braxton Polk interception gave Amory the ball back.
Poss would finish the game 17 of 20 passing for 227 yards.
“We came out and got a big lead, and then we just sat on it,” Amory coach Trent Hammond said. “We as coaches have to do a better job of making sure that doesn’t happen again.”
Another pick on Shannon’s first drive of the second half, this one by Dee Evans, led to Amory’s first score of the half, a 12-yard run by McIntosh, but Gilleylen found Chavis Dilworth from 55 yards out on the next drive.
The Panthers would answer on the following drive with a Robinson 39-yard run to set up a 31-yard scoring run from Abaris Woodrick.
Pounds would find the end zone twice more for the Red Raiders before Simpson’s pick sealed the game.
“We were here playing for the No. 2 seed, and we stank it up in the first half,” Shannon coach Darryl Carter said. “We thought we had a good game plan going in, and the kids didn’t execute.”