By Jonathan Wise
PONTOTOC – Needing a win to have a chance at a playoff berth, the Shannon Red Raiders fought through adversity and six turnovers Friday to pull out a 16-13 overtime win over Pontotoc.
Freshman quarterback Kendall Cox ran 10 yards for the game-winning score after Pontotoc had posted a 18-yard Rafael Vidana field goal on the opening possession of overtime.
Pontotoc just barely missed out on a touchdown as Colton Bramlett was stopped at the 1-yard line.
“It seems like we haven’t been able to finish all year,” Shannon coach Darryl Carter said. “We just wanted an opportunity to get in (the playoffs). We had to overcome some mistakes, but the guys found a way. I knew once we stopped them (in overtime) it was time to give it to the big guy (Cox), and he got it done.”
The Red Raiders (4-6) got on the board with a 24-yard field goal by Hunter Robbins with 9:45 to go in the first, capitalizing on a Pontotoc fumble that set them up at the Warrior 31. Pontotoc’s Jarren McKinzie returned a interception to the Shannon 15 late in the first, setting up a 28-yard Rafael Vidana field goal.
Montgomery breaks free
Shannon jumped back on top when Cameron Montgomery caught a shallow crossing route from J.T. Loving and broke free for a 83-yard touchdown. Pontotoc tied things up on a 12-yard hookup from Will Ard to Ashton Waldrop with 9:25 to go the first half, the last score in regulation.
Both teams traded turnovers and field position throughout the second half. The Warriors (3-8) moved inside the Shannon 35 with inside three minutes to play but came away empty. Pontotoc was hindered by four turnovers of its own.
“The kids played their hearts out, and that’s all we are ever going to ask them to do,” Pontotoc head coach Scott Brown said. “We just didn’t play very well offensively at times.”