BY BRANDON SPECK
OXFORD – Saltillo and North Pontotoc went back-and-forth Saturday. Saltillo won a wild two-quarter jamboree 23-21 at Ole Miss’ Vaught-Hemingway Stadium, but both left with plenty of film with things to fix before football starts to count Friday.
North Pontotoc senior Marcus Green, a Louisiana-Monroe commit, showed why he drew a lot of summer hype with an 18-yard touchdown run and a 51-yard touchdown off a screen pass from Trey Jolly.
“That’s an assignment bust and then an athlete getting in the open,” Saltillo coach Pat Byrd said. “Hopefully we can fix that stuff. We’ve got a lot to clean up.”
The Vikings saw plenty to evaluate as well. They gave up a safety on an intentional grounding and gave up two long touchdown runs. Saltillo quarterback Tyler Tollison broke free for a 35-yard score and new feature back Diamante Pounds broke his share of tackles, including a couple at the line on his way to a 58-yard game-winning touchdown.
“Everything we did that was bad, we can correct,” North Pontotoc coach Brian Sutton said. “That’s what it’s about.”
Both teams scored back-to-back on two-play drives in the second half. North started it with Jolly’s 40 yard score to Brooks Shannon to regain a 21-16 lead. Saltillo also had a 5-yard touchdown pass from Tollison to Malik Randolph.
BEARCATS PICKED OFF
Baldwyn gave up touchdowns on a pair of interception returns in a 28-7 loss to Senatobia.
Senatobia’s Courtland Barnes took it 55 yards on a tipped pass for one. On another, Baldwyn receiver Marbrecio Crump fell and Dondre Johnson went 77 yards.
Baldwyn coach Michael Gray said he was pleased with the effort.
“We made some good plays and some bad, natural for the first scrimmage,” Gray said. “Practice-wise, we’ve had really good effort. It carries over. We’ve got to be able to finish drives and make some tackles when we have an opportunity.”
Baldwyn’s lone score came off a turnover. Rashod Owens forced a fumble and Marquavious Patterson took it 35 yards to make it 14-7.
“A few short passes were good. A couple of runs were good,” receiver Clayton Gray said. “We need to get better on blocking and hit some of our holes better.”