By Zach Adams
Itawamba County Times
FULTON – Itawamba AHS, led by a stout defense, defeated Pontotoc 33-0 to clinch second place in Division 1-4A and the right to host a first-round playoff game in two weeks.
The Indians forced four turnovers and limited the Warriors to just 241 yards on 50 plays. Mike King led the offensive attack as the senior rushed for 120 yards and two touchdowns on 10 carries.
“My hat is off to the defense. They came out and kept an opponent scoreless through four quarters,” IAHS coach Toby Collums said. “They said at halftime that they would get it done and they did.”
IAHS (6-3, 3-1) scored on the second play from scrimmage when King took a handoff around the left side and turned on the burners to outran everyone to the end zone for a 48-yard score.
Pontotoc (3-7, 2-2) looked to even things up, driving to the Indians’ 9-yard-line after Donte Freeman’s long run. The drive ended abruptly when two penalties backed Pontotoc up before Desmend Johnson pounced on a fumble recovery at the 31.
The IAHS defense came up big again late in the first when QB Will Ard was hit by Jamarcus Marrion as he released a pass and was intecepted for a 37 touchdown by Peyton Green.
King and Vijay Miller added two more Indian TDs before the half on runs of 24 and 6 yards respectively to give IAHS a 27-0 lead at the break.
Finishing the job
Marrion recovered a botched handoff in the third that set up the final score of the night. From the Pontotoc 48, Jevontae Stegall rushed five-straight times to the 26 before Hunter White took it to the 11. Miller then found Tylon Ward in the back of the end zone for an 11-yard TD reception.
“We were able to run the football and control the tempo of the game,” Collums said. “It was a good win for us.”