Pontotoc head football coach Charlie Dampeer says this time of the season is about playing for home-field advantage, and he’s absolutely right.
With just two more weeks left in the regular season for Class 4A, teams are jockeying for the top two spots in their divisions so that they can host a first-round playoff game.
“You gotta win out now for home-field advantage,” Dampeer said after his team had lost to Shannon, 25-13, in Friday’s showdown of undefeated teams in Division 1-4A. “It’s something we’re going to shoot at, and we got a big ballgame against a very talented team next week.”
The next opponent Dampeer was referring to is Itawamba AHS, which is currently in a tie for first atop the division standings. The Indians, like Shannon, are 8-0 overall and 3-0 in Division 1-4A.
“It’s going to be a little bit different game than this (game against Shannon),” Dampeer said before walking off Shannon’s field Friday night. “It will be a little more finesse than this one was. This was a pure headgear and shoulder pads (game) with a big running back and they (Shannon) throw it up every once in a while. So next week will be different.”
If Pontotoc (7-1, 2-1) wins at Itawamba on Friday and Shannon doesn’t have a letdown this week at New Albany and goes on to beat the Indians to end the regular season, then Pontotoc finishes second in the division – without having to go through any tiebreakers – and will get to host a first-round playoff game.
Another big division game on Friday happens to be in Division 1-3A, where defending division-champion Corinth travels to undefeated Booneville. Both teams are 3-0 in the division with two weeks to go.
Baldwyn is also 3-0 in its division (1-2A) after losing its first five games to start the season. The Bearcats host Hatley, which has lost its last two division contests.
Contact John Wilbert at 678-1572 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
John Wilbert/NEMS Daily Journal