By Brandon Speck/Monroe Journal
AMORY – Shannon senior running back Bodarius Taylor ran all over Amory Friday night, on the first drive of the game at least.
Taylor carried the ball 10 times for 56 yards and scored on a 4-yard run.
Shannon’s 7-0 lasted a quarter before Amory took charge of the game and Region 1-4A with a 30-7 win at Longenecker Field.
Shannon had beaten Amory eight straight times dating back to 2003.
“It’s a huge win. This game was big for us. I think our kids are starting to believe in themselves and that’s a big deal,” said Amory coach Trent Hammond.
Shannon (4-4, 2-1) kept the ball away from Amory early on, holding it for all but 79 seconds of the opening quarter.
Amory (7-2, 3-0) sustained a long drive of its own on the tying touchdown in the second.
Capping a 14-play drive, quarterback Forest Williams hit Abaris Woodrick for an 11-yard touchdown.
Three possessions later, Amory punter Tanner Poole pinned the Red Raiders at their own 5 yard line. After a four-yard loss, linebacker Jeremy Roberts tackled Nick Pack in the end zone for a safety and a 9-7 lead at the 2:14 mark.
Williams was picked on Amory’s possession but Roberts recovered a fumble caused by teammate Zach Khima and Amory drove 53 yards in 1:10 and took a 16-7 lead on Dario Robinson’s 2-yard Wildcat touchdown and Josh Tomlin’s second PAT with 22.6 seconds left in the half.
“I thought the last two-and-a-half minutes of the first half changed a bunch,” said Shannon coach Chad Cook. “We gave them two points then had to kick back off to them.
“That quarterback, I told Coach Hammond before the game, ‘In 12 years, best I’ve ever seen.’”
Amory padded its lead 14 seconds into the third when Williams found Robinson, who split two defenders and ran 63 yards for his second touchdown.
The Panthers put it away in the fourth on Poole’s 28-yard touchdown from Williams, who finished the night 26 of 40 for 422 yards with three touchdowns and an interception.
Taylor finished the game with 19 carries for 71 yards.
“The defense turned around and played great,” Williams said. “They fight. They were just driving off their blocks.”