DEKALB – It was a different location, but the game unfolded very similar to the one a week ago for the South Pontotoc Cougars.
After committing six turnovers in a loss to Mooreville, the Cougars also gave it to Kemper County six times, leading directly to 36 points, in a 65-26 loss Friday night. The Wildcats also blocked two punts, leading to another score.
“When you turn the ball over that many times, it is practically impossible to beat a good team like that,” South head coach Roger Chism said. “I think we were a little bit snake bitten tonight, because we did some things we never do.”
Things started out well for South, taking an early 6-0 lead on a 1-yard run from quarterback Wesley Ross, which was set up by blocked punt from senior defensive lineman Tyler Lindsey. The spark, however, was short-lived. The Wildcats then proceeded to reel off 46 consecutive points to essentially end things by the half.
Kemper County tied the game on a 50-yard pick six from LadCederick Odom, and, after recovering a Cougar fumble on the ensuing possession, found the end zone again when signal caller Kelvin Bourrage found speedy receiver D.J. Clayton for 56-yard strike.
The Wildcats exploded for four more touchdowns in the second quarter. Devontae Vickers and Bourrage scored on runs of 9 and 3 yards and tailback Willie McCray added one of his own from 13 yards. Elijawhan Cole capped off the half by scooping up another Cougar fumble, their third of the game, and returning it 52 yards to paydirt.
With the game well out of reach, the Cougars fought back and actually outscored the homestanding Wildcats 20-19 in the second half. Ross added touchdown runs of 1, 2 and 10 yards, giving him four on the night.
“I’m proud of the kids-they fought hard the entire night and never gave up,” Chism said. “Our defense played well early, but our mistakes just put them in tough situations all night.”