By ZACH ADAMS
FULTON – Itawamba AHS receiver Peyton Green was tired going into the final minute of his team’s game with New Albany on Friday night. But down 3 late, the senior refused to acknowledge he needed a breather.
Instead, Green sucked it up and hauled in the biggest catch of night when he snagged a pass on a crossing pattern and took it 47 yards to the Bulldog 9. On the next play, sophomore Hunter White burst into the end zone with 28 seconds remaining to cap the comeback and deliver the Indians the 14-10 victory.
“I was going to sub out, but coach told us not to tap out like we did last week (against Ripley),” said an excited Green. “So I stayed in and got a big play for the team.”
After a sloppy and scoreless first quarter that included four total punts, a turnover and six penalties, IAHS (1-1) struck first in the second when White capped off a 45-yard drive with a 1-yard run.
Later in the period, the Bulldogs (0-2) took advantage of a fumble recovery by Chris Brown in Indian territory. Eathen Rainey hit a 40-yard field goal to cut the lead and go into the half trailing 7-3.
After fumbling in its first possession of the second half, New Albany got embarked on a 80-yard, 13-play drive powered by 35-yard Devin Wilson run. Facing third-and-goal at the 3, quarterback Bryce Collins took it in for the go-ahead score with 1:03 left in the third.
The final countdown
After trading blows the fourth, IAHS found itself facing a third-and-two situation at their own 44-yard line with less than a minute to play. Sophomore quarterback Vijay Miller found Green streaking across the middle of the field for the play of the game.
“We were so close so many time to making a big play,” IAHS coach Toby Collums said. “To finally get one right there at the end and find a way to win, I just can’t be more proud of my kids.”
IAHS finished the contest with 177 total yards to New Albany’s 151. Miller completed 6 of 16 passes for 88 yards.
“The thing that makes me proud tonight is that our kids competed for 48 minutes,” New Albany coach Ron Price said. “Both teams tonight had a chance to win.
“Itawamba just happened to make one more play than we did.”