FULTON – A field goal kicker. Itawamba AHS had one and Aberdeen didn’t.
The Bulldogs scored six touchdowns against the host Indians and jumped out to a 24-7 second-quarter lead, but the inability to convert on any of their two-point conversions cost the visiting team in the end.
Aberdeen led by eight points with 11:55 remaining in the fourth quarter, but an IAHS safety kicked off 16 straight points for the Indians as they went on to win, 44-36.
“Everybody came back out after halftime and we were pumped. We came back and fought,” said IAHS sophomore running back Hunter White, who rushed for two touchdowns, including the game-clincher with less than two minutes remaining.
Aberdeen (2-3) rolled up 296 first-half yards, 247 of which came on the ground. The Bulldogs struck first when, after a Indian fumble on the first play from scrimmage, Jerrick Orr rumbled for a 30-yard score.
Sandwiched around a White 5-yard TD, Orr and fellow Aberdeen speedsters Sammie Burroughs ripped off runs of 60 and 75 yards. Early in the second quarter, Josh Ewing called his own number from 16 yards out as the Bulldogs looked like they might put the game away early.
IAHS (3-2) began to turn things around before the half when, facing a third-and-11 at the Aberdeen 35, Vijay Miller hit Jevontae Stegall down to the 15. Stegall then took it in for the score on the next play and kicker Lorenzo Minto hit the PAT to make it a manageable 10-point margin.
On the following series, IAHS’s Trey Morrow recovered a fumble on the Bulldogs 38 and, after a Quamayne Shumpert run to the 6 followed by a penalty, Miller called his own number for the score that allowed the Indians to enter the break trailing just 24-21.
Aberdeen’s Tyreke Gates hit pay dirt from 30 yards out, but was countered quickly by a Miller to Mike King 54-yard strike to open the third quarter.
As the teams exchanged blows, IAHS got the better of the deal as Minto make all of his extra points to chip away at the lead.
Ewing hit a seam for 66-yard TD later in the third, but the IAHS safety combined with a Miller to Tylon Ward go-ahead score, put it away for the Indians. White later put an exclamation point on the win with a 5-yard run.