By Jonathan Wise
ECRU – Charleston came into a wet and sloppy Friday night matchup against North Pontotoc averaging for 259 rushing yards a game. The Tigers stayed true to form in a 50-23 win over the Vikings to earn a chance to play for the 3A North Half Championship next week against Louisville.
Senior tailback Calwaun Street totaled six touchdowns on the night, including four on the ground.
“This time of the year, especially in weather like tonight, you better be able to run it,” said Charleston head coach Scott Martin. “Our offensive line did a great job blocking tonight even though they were geared up to stop us.”
The Tigers (12-1) jumped ahead 15-0 in the first on a pair of Cortavio Curry touchdown passes – a 29-yarder to Street at the 8:18 mark and a 67-yard strike to GeVonte Jones with 3:43 left. However, momentum swung to the Vikings (10-4) after stopping the Tigers on a fake punt early in the second quarter.
Murphy Daniel rumbled into the end zone from six yards out the next play to make it 15-7, and another Charleston special teams miscue, this time a fumbled punt snap, set up Trey Jolly’s 16-yard swing pass to Marcus Green for a score to tie the score at at 15 at the 2:05 mark.
Street then got behind the Viking secondary and hauled in a 57-yard touchdown pass from Curry with a 5 ticks left in the first half.
Charleston carried that momentum over into the second half, driving 68 yards on four plays to open the half. Street capped the drive with a nine yard run to make it 30-15.
“It was definitely a momentum-turning sequence,” Martin said. “The guys performed and made a play, and it came it the right time”
The Tigers found the end zone on their next two possessions with Street runs of 50 and two yards to open up the game.
“We knew coming in we couldn’t give up big plays and we gave up too many tonight ” said North coach Brian Sutton. “But I am proud of all this team accomplished this year, winning ten games, a division title, and getting to the third round of the playoffs.”