HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL: PONTOTOC PREVIEW

By Tim Tutor/Pontotoc Progress

The season ends this Friday for South Pontotoc and Pontotoc, while North Pontotoc is still holding out for a playoff spot.

North faces division foe Lafayette County at home with the game being played on Thursday night.

South is also at home and playing their division foe Aberdeen, while Pontotoc is on the road to Amory for their last division game.

All games begin at 7 p.m.

The Vikings

North Pontotoc closes its regular season at home on Thursday, hosting Lafayette with a 7 p.m. kickoff.

The Vikings (6-4, 2-2 in Div. 2-4A) will likely secure a playoff seed from the district regardless of the outcome, but all of that depends on how the other teams in the league fare on Friday.

Lafayette (8-2, 3-1) is the reigning Class 4A state champion, but has suffered two losses this season — a 19-0 setback against Oxford on Aug. 30, and a 10-7 division-loss in overtime to New Albany on Oct. 12. The Commodores defeated Senatobia 23-7 last Friday.

The Vikings are coming off a tough 29-26 home loss last week to Lewisburg, who lost to Lafayette (28-13) on Sept. 28.

“We’ve got a short week this week and we play on Thursday night,” said North Pontotoc head coach Brian Sutton.

“Lafayette is still good, but they’re not the booger bear everybody has been talking about the past couple of years. I’ve told our kids that the only way we know if we can play with them is if we prepare, and then come out here on Thursday night and play our best ballgame ever, and if you do that, you won’t find a single person who is mad about it.”

With all division teams finishing their regular-season schedules this week, New Albany is in the top spot with a 6-4, 4-0 record, followed by Lafayette, Lewisburg (7-3, 2-2), North, Senatobia (3-6, 1-3) and Rosa Fort (2-7, 0-4).

“We’ll see where all of that throws us on the playoffs,” Sutton said. “I think we’re in, as at least a four (seed) and we could be a three, but you never know if somebody else wins.”

The Warriors

As for Pontotoc’s season finale Friday at Amory, Warrior head coach Ken Byars said the Warriors will continue to work hard in practice this week to play a complete, error-free game.

“We’ve got a group of seniors who’ve got one shot the rest of their career as Pontotoc Warriors,” he said. “We’ve got one game left, and we’ve got one shot to fix mistakes. We worked hard every week to fix mistakes and we’ve got to continue to fix mistakes.

“Amory’s a team that can score from anywhere on the field,” Byars added. “We’ve got to continue to get better and give it our best shot.”

Amory (8-2, 3-1) is coming off a 35-13 loss to Itawamba AHS, but have won six of their last seven games, including a 42-28 road win at Shannon, while the Warriors (4-6, 1-3) lost a close one at Corinth Friday night, 14-11. Pontotoc lost at home to Shannon 36-20 Sept. 28.

The Cougars

South (1-9) will host Division 2-3A leading Aberdeen Friday, who are coming off a big 20-13 win at home over Water Valley.

“They are extremely good. They are big, physical, and have athletes all over the field,” said South Pontotoc head coach Roger Chism.

“But hey, you have to line up and play them, and that’s what we will do. We have to find something we can execute consistently on offense with the personnel we have right now.”

Aberdeen, coached by Mark Bray, are leading Division 2-3A with an overall mark of 8-2 and 4-0 in the division, and are coming off a 20-13 home win over Water Valley.

The Bulldogs lost at 6A Columbus 21-0 in their opening game of the season and 45-0 to 4A giant Noxubee County at home on Sept. 7.

The Cougars lost 47-7 at Water Valley on Oct. 5.