KOSSUTH – Both Mooreville and Kossuth were looking for momentum to bring into their respective division openers next week.
In a game that began with a 32-minute lightning delay and featured rain off and on during the contest, Mooreville got it by edging Kossuth 17-13 on Friday night.
With the win, Mooreville ended non-division play with a perfect 6-0 record.
“It gives us some momentum,” said Mooreville head coach Kevin Austin. “If you can win some tough games, it’s going to come in big down the stretch somewhere.
Mooreville got things started on its first possession of the game.
The Troopers drove the ball 65 yards in 8 plays. Devonte Williams capped the drive with a 12-yard touchdown run to give Mooreville an early 7-0 advantage.
Kossuth, the Daily Journal’s fifth ranked Class 3A team, responded early into the second quarter.
After Joseph Moreland recovered a fumble at the Mooreville 30, the Aggies capped a quick drive when quarterback Jay Vanderford snuck the ball into the end zone from 1 yard out to tie the game at 7 apiece.
Mooreville, the Daily Journal’s third-ranked 3A school, captured the halftime lead when Griff Loftis found Errick Dillworth on a 3-yard touchdown pass to hold a 14-7 advantage at the break.
Kossuth (3-3) brought the game within one on Vanderford’s second touchdown run of the night, this time from 2 yards out.
However, in a torrential rain, the extra -point kick was botched to help Mooreville remain in the lead.
“I’d like to say that cost the game, but they played on the same field as we did,” said Kossuth head coach Pete Seago.
The closest the Aggies came to scoring again was the middle of the 4th quarter, but a fumble in Mooreville territory recovered by Quadzing Rodgers ended Kossuth’s threat.
“We played hard again for four quarters, and that’s our goal,” Seago said, “Our kids did everything we asked them, but we shot ourselves in the foot one too many times.”
Matthew Pannell added a 28-yard field goal late in the game to round out the Troopers’ scoring.
“Tonight was ugly, but you have to win some ugly ones,” said Austin, “You’re not going to play your best every night, we’re just thrilled to be 6-0.
The Troopers will look to remain undefeated and get their first division win next week as they travel to South Pontotoc, a 45-40 winnver over Mantachie. Kossuth looks to rebound by traveling to another undefeated team, Belmont, to open Division 1-3A play.
Blake Long/Special to the Journal