By NEMS Daily Journal
Elise Mobley would have had a lot to cheer about Friday night.
The Houston Hilltoppers have dedicated the 2011 season to the memory of their cheerleader who was killed in a car wreck earlier this month.
They hit the ground running Friday night – literally – with a 42-3 win over South Pontotoc.
Kentrell Murry averaged averaged 25 yards a carry with 177 yards and four touchdowns on only seven attempts.
Murray scored on runs of 5, 27, 43 and 68 yards.
Quon Brand added 43 yards on six carries and scored on runs of 1 and 4 yards.
Murry scored twice, Brand once in the first quarter, as the Toppers (1-0) built a 21-0 lead and never looked back.
South Pontotoc (0-1) got on the board in the third quarter with a 29-yard field goal from Matt Collums.
The game marked the coaching debut of Houston’s Donnie Rodgers. The Toppers were 2-9 last year and returned eight starters on both offense and defense.
“We were able to move the ball on the ground some. We have a pretty good stable of running backs,” Rodgers said.
In other action:
Shannon 33, Kosciusko 7: Shannon got an all-around effort at home to easily dispatch the Whippets.
Nick Pack scored twice, first on a 62-yard interception return and later on a 13-yard reception from John Pugh. Bodarius Taylor also scored twice, on runs of 6 and 2 yards, and Marcus Thornton scored on a 10-yard punt block return.
Booneville 33, Walnut 0: The Blue Devils racked up 307 total yards and held the Wildcats to 56 in a big road win. Dylan Henley scored twice on the ground and also had a 28-yard scoring pass to Tracy Billups.
Okolona 32, Houlka 6: The young Houlka program will be playing its “home” games on Okolona’s field this season. But the Wildcats were visitors Friday and took it on the chin from the Chieftains.
Okolona got a pair of touchdown runs from Fred Ward and built up a 19-0 lead before Ondre Tittle got Houlka on the board with a 71-yard run in the third quarter.
Grenada 16, Oxford 15: A tense game went the host’s way, as Grenada pulled ahead on Javoris Redditt’s 3-yard TD pass from Payne Horan, who hit Darius White on the decisive 2-point conversion.
Oxford coach Johnny Hill said two Grenada players, including its quarterback, were ejected for fighting, but no Oxford players were. Mont Dean led the visiting Chargers with 126 rushing yards and a TD.
Tupelo Christian 30, Strayhorn 20: In a game that was added late last week, the host Eagles scored three second-half touchdowns to pull away after staking a 9-6 halftime edge.
Quarterback Andrew Soper threw a 74-yard TD pass to Stephen Sexton and added a pair of scoring runs for TCPS. Soper was 11 of 19 for 137 yards passing.
Hatley 53, Union County 12: Union County, a co-op team embarking upon its first full varsity schedule, was welcomed roughly by Hatley. Each of the Tigers’ seven touchdowns was scored by a different player. Union County got TD runs from Tyler Edwards and Broderick Montgomery.
Pontotoc 20, Velma Jackson 16: Deonte Dilworth rushed for 247 yards and a touchdown on 21 carries as the Warriors won coach Ken Byars’ debut. He took over for Charlie Dampeer after serving as an assistant for two years.
Velma Jackson tried to rally in the fourth with a pair of touchdowns.
Potts Camp 40, H.W. Byers 8: Jamarquis Foster had two early touchdown runs to set the tone for Potts Camp, which led 18-8 at halftime. The Cardinals recorded two safeties in the second quarter.
Other area finals (scoring information not provided):
Alcorn Central 24, Biggersville 21; Calhoun City 44, Coffeeville 14; Falkner 20, Middleton, Tenn. 0; Potts Camp 40, H.W. Byers 8; Bruce 48, Mound Bayou JFK 19; Caledonia 29, Nettleton 20; Starkville Aca. 38, St. Andrews 3; Sharkey Issaquena Aca. 42, Calhoun Aca. 6; Noxubee County 33, Starkville 21; Byhalia 46, Tishomingo County 16.
Scores not called in: Coldwater at Holly Springs; Marshall Academy at Magnolia Heights.