By Melissa Meador/NEMS Daily Journal
AMORY – A tough Okolona defense was able to halt the explosive Amory passing game and its group of senior wide receivers.
So Amory’s skill guys ran the ball early and often, netting three scores on the ground, to pull out a 23-14 win at Longenecker Field on Friday night.
“We had to do what we had to do,” Amory coach Trent Hammond said of running the ball. “That’s what was working so it was what we went with.”
The Panthers (4-1) got on the board in the first half by way of their running game with Abaris Woodrick scoring from 5 yards out on their first possession of the game and Jaylon Fair finding the end zone on a 5-yard run of his own near the beginning of the second quarter.
Okolona (2-3) would bounce back from Fair’s score immediately with quarterback Jacolbi Heard on a 63-yard run on the first play of the next drive.
Dario Robinson would join in the scoring on the ground on Amory’s second possession after halftime with his 6-yard scoring run.
Heard would bring the Chieftains within 8 with his 28-yard scoring pass to Jay Collins, but the Panthers held them in the final two minutes of the game.
“We’ve got a lot of quick guys on defense,” Okolona coach Calvin Aldridge said. “They had a great game, and our quarterback had a great game, too. It seemed like he was all the offense for us, but sometimes that’s the way it goes.”
Robinson and Fair would both finish with a productive night on the ground with Robinson gaining 77 yards on 13 carries and receiver Fair rushing for 89 yards on 14 carries.
“There are a lot of things we still need to work on,” said Fair. “We need to work on repetition, working hard in practice and just keep playing ball.”
Jon David Poss went 6 for 13 for 77 yards, his lowest passing total of the year. Heard finished the night with 84 yards on 11 carries for the Chieftains.
“As good as we’ve played the last two weeks, it was that bad for us tonight,” Hammond said. “We’ve got to be ready to roll next week or that Calhoun City team will run all over us.”