By Jay Tidwell/Special to the Journal
ECRU – Michael Walters hoped for another night like this.
The senior receiver had a couple of scoring receptions in Pontotoc’s win last week against Ripley, and was aiming for a repeat performance against his team’s county rival.
Walters hooked up with quarterback Marcus Reed for two first-half scoring receptions and had a goal-line interception to keep North Pontotoc out of the end zone to end the half and gave the Warriors the boost they needed to upend the Vikings 37-12 on Friday.
“When I started having some success last week, I believed it would keep coming,” said Walters (6-2, 190).
Pontotoc (3-2) didn’t waste much time for its first score.
After fumbling away its first possession, the Warriors cashed in their next time up. Reed found Walters on a post route for a 53-yard pass on the second play of the series.
Midway through the second quarter, Walters ran a slant route and took the catch 50 yards for another TD at the 6:04 mark.
The Warriors’ defense forced a three and out then gained field advantage when a punt was misplayed at North’s 39.
Jeb Millender booted a 36-yarder in the final minute, and Walters nabbed a pass into the end zone as time expired in the half to give Pontotoc a 16-0 advantage at the break.
“Big plays don’t hurt us,” said Pontotoc coach Ken Byars. “We took a shot, and got a tremendous throw and Michael took it to the house.”
The teams scrambled for three quick TDs in the third. Marcus Green had a 55-yard catch from Trey Jolly for North Pontotoc, Deonte Dilworth returned the following kickoff 91 yards for Pontotoc, then a couple of plays later Ben Shannon had a 69-yard scoring reception for the Vikings (3-2).
Dilworth, who finished with 14 carries for 93 yards, sprinted for a 19-yard score with 3:24 in the third to put the Warriors ahead 30-12.
Pontotoc sealed it in the fourth on a 48-yard fumble return by lineman Anthony Peters then burned the final five minutes off the clock.
“The first half, they broke a couple of big plays on us and got up,” said North Pontotoc coach Brian Sutton. “It took us a while to adjust.”