By Blake Long/Special to the Journal
TUPELO – David Bradberry is still searching for a full, well played four quarters out of his Tupelo High football team, but a win going into a bye week will certainly suffice.
The Golden Wave held off a rally from in-county rival Shannon to finish their non-division schedule with a 24-16 win. Tupelo (2-2) opens up Division 1-6A play in two weeks by hosting Columbus.
“We won the first half and they won the second half,” Bradberry said. “The second half we didn’t do very much, and I think a lot of that’s Shannon.”
Down 24-0 at halftime, the Red Raiders (1-3) came within one possession of tying the game thanks in part to the running of Diamante Pounds, who finished with 188 yards on 27 carries.
On Shannon’s third drive of the second half, Pounds carried the ball four straight times to the 10-yard line. Three straight runs after that by Devan Gilleylen got the Raiders on the board but still down 24-8 with 2:39 to play in the third quarter.
Two drives later, quarterback John Thomas Peugh hit a wide-open Chavis Dilworth on a 73-yard scoring connection to make it 24-16 following Dilworth’s second two-point run.
After trading possessions, the Red Raiders got the ball back with 1:45 to play. James Gilleylen picked off Peugh on the first play, though, to seal the win for the Golden Wave.
Tupelo’s offense capitalized on their opponents’ mistakes the opening two quarters. Drew White’s first punt of the game skimmed the leg of a Shannon player and was recovered by Michael Ray.
Four plays later, Quinn Tiggs found the end zone on a 4-yard run to up the Wave’s lead to 14-0.
A bad snap on a punt attempt during the Raiders’ next drive gave Tupelo the ball 24 yards away from another score. White hit a 26-yard field goal shortly after that made it 17-0.
The Red Raiders got in the red zone three times in the first half but could not put any points on the scoreboard.
“At the end of the day, we came out on the short end of the stick again,” Shannon coach Daryl Carter said. “We didn’t make the plays we were supposed to make to win the game.”
Tupelo QB Thomas Harris completed 10 of 17 passes for 150 yards, including a nice 69-yard scoring strike to Rodney McIntosh in the second quarter. Harris also scored on a 1-yard run on Tupelo’s opening drive.