ABERDEEN – Channing Ward sacked Houston quarterback Shawn Wright late in the first half of Friday night’s game in Aberdeen. Then he gave Wright a friendly pat on the helmet.
Houston needed all the comfort it could find as Aberdeen led 46-7 at the time of Ward’s sack and went on to a 73-7 win over the Hilltoppers.
Devoris Ivy returned the opening kick 80 yards for a score to put Houston ahead 7-0 after Emmitt Dendy’s kick.
It was all Aberdeen after that.
Aberdeen, the Daily Journal’s second-ranked Class 3A school, (4-2) scored the next 73 points.
“We finally broke loose on offense,” Aberdeen coach Chris Duncan said, “and used some of the things we’ve had that we hadn’t been able to use. The fine tuning is over. The season begins next Friday.”
Division 2-3A play opens for Aberdeen Friday against Winona.
In the non-division finale, quarterback Aaron Andrews threw four first half touchdowns and Jamerson Love scored two on the ground. Andrews had 266 yards passing on 8 of 13 attempts with seven rushes for 60 yards and a score.
Aberdeen answered Ivy’s score with Andrews’ 41 yard pass to Mario Lucas. Erik Buchanan caught the two-point pass for an 8-7 lead.
Love followed with a 22 yard run in the first quarter before Rashad Pargo and Lucas caught two more second quarter touchdown passes of 28 and 41 yards.
Duncan said he thinks the Bulldogs are past a 24-14 loss at Pontotoc two weeks ago.
“I’m proud of the effort, proud of how things are going now with the slow start,” he said. “I think we’re getting back on track.”
Andrews scored from 15 yards out with 6:50 to play in the second quarter before Buchanan’s 22 yard catch and Love’s 23 yard run made it 53-7 at the half.
Love, who totaled 80 yards on only three carries, had two touchdown runs called back from 75 and 54 yards away. Rashad Bates had a 39 yard touchdown called back after a block in the back call on a punt return. All three drives though, resulted in touchdowns.
The Aberdeen defense never allowed the Hilltoppers (1-5) back in the red zone while Aberdeen’s second team offense still found plenty of room to run.
“We had the big kickoff return and thought we were going to get a little excited,” Houston coach Buz Boyer said. “We gave up some big plays and just couldn’t stay with them.”
In the second half, Aberdeen sent its bench in and got touchdown runs from Victor Hodges (5), Justin Lucas (1) and Desmond Jones (21).
“You want to play good on all phases of the game, especially before division starts, especially playing Winona,” Duncan said. “Being able to play the starters the first half and get them out is a good thing.”
Brandon Speck/Monroe Journal