Amory edges Pontotoc

AMORY – No offensive touchdowns, 13 turnovers and one quarter without a scoreboard.
All that and more in a 3-hour, 5-minute marathon that saw Amory beat Pontotoc 27-13.
Amory’s Abaris Woodrick had a blocked punt and four picks, the final one a 45-yard touchdown return that put Amory ahead 24-13 with 8:34 to play.
Amory had just gotten the ball on Quartez French’s pick after a punt, gave it right back on Jamar Elzie’s pick but Woodrick had the biggest pick of the game.
“This is our seniors’ 14th win since they’ve been in ninth grade,” first-year Amory coach Trent Hammond said. “I haven’t ever been a part of one wilder. This was kind of crazy. A win’s a win even if it’s ugly.”
Amory (2-4) scored the first two points on a safety that Zack Khima picked up in the opening two minutes as the scoreboard had yet to light up.
Woodrick later blocked Jeb Millender’s punt for Jeremy Roberts to recover in the end zone for a 9-0 first quarter lead after Madison Francis’ kick.
Besides the early deficit, Pontotoc sophomore quarterback Marcus Reed came into the game with no interceptions.
“We threw our first pick tonight,” Pontotoc coach Charlie Dampeer said. “I think we threw five. I’ve never been in a game like that since I’ve been coaching. When you’ve got a sophomore quarterback, you’ve got to watch out.
“It’s really funny, I said before the ball game, ‘I feel more prepared than I have in a long time.’ It just didn’t click. Amory had a lot to so with it and we had a lot to do with it.”
Pontotoc (4-2) scored its first touchdown on Rashad Dixon’s 45-yard interception return to pull within 9-7 after Michael Bounds’ kick in the second quarter.
Pontotoc took its first lead on Bounds’ 35-yard field goal with 5:36 left in the half.
“We got away from what we do early and things just didn’t work for us,” said Dampeer, who has 28 years on the sidelines. “I’ve never been in a game like that, ever.”
Channing French scored the game’s third defensive touchdown, recovering a Pontotoc lateral pass in the end zone. Quarterback Forest Williams broke several tackles into the end zone for two points and a 17-10 lead.
Pontotoc cut it to 17-13 on Bounds’ 23-yard field goal in the third.
Woodrick’s fourth pick was the final difference. Francis had a 29-yard field goal to close the scoring.

Brandon Speck/Monoroe Journal