Bruce defense steps up for big win heading into division play

Adam Robison | Daily Journal Bruce's  Jay Johnson breaks free from the Amory defense in the fourth quarter of Friday night's game.

Adam Robison | Daily Journal
Bruce’s Jay Johnson breaks free from the Amory defense in the fourth quarter of Friday night’s game.

By Melissa Meador

Monroe Journal

AMORY – With a difficult Division 4-2A schedule starting next week, Bruce football coach James Ray enjoys playing 4A teams to prepare.

Ray saw his non-division schedule pay off on Friday with a 21-0 shutout of 4A school Amory, which marked the third win over a larger school this season for Bruce.

“This was a complete game, and we executed our game plan coming in here,” Ray said. “Defensively, to hold Amory to no points, that’s huge. This win is huge for us to come in here to a 4A school with a lot of football tradition and beat them.”

The Trojans (4-1) started off the scoring on a nearly six-minute first drive of the game. A personal foul on Amory brought the Trojans down to the Panthers’ 14 where Bruce QB Donta Armstrong fell on a bad snap to escape handing the ball over. D.J. Glaspie punched it in from the same distance two plays later to put Bruce on the board.

Bruce capitalized on an Amory fumble at the Trojans 32-yard line, and Armstrong found Antarius Glass for a 14-yard scoring strike late in the first quarter.

Trading fumbles

The Panthers (2-4) tried to capitalize on a Bruce fumble at the Amory 17-yard line with T.J. Fields getting to the 1-yard line, but a fumble on third-and-goal handed the ball back to the Trojans with a minute left in the half.

Armstrong pushed the lead to 21-0, hooking up with Jadarrius Benson for a 33-yard score on the Trojans’ first drive of the second half.

Amory moved into Bruce territory with a 70-yard, 18-play drive midway through the fourth quarter, but freshman QB Gunnar Hall was sacked at the Trojans 38 to end the threat.

“We moved the ball at times, and that was encouraging,” Amory coach Ben Ashley said. “We just have to find a way to get back going, and my philosophy to do that since I’ve been coaching is hard work fixes 98 percent of problems.”

Bruce opens up Division 4-2A play at home next week against Calhoun City while Amory hosts Itawamba AHS to open Division 1-4A play.

melissa.meador@journalinc.com