By Jonathan Wise
ECRU –The North Pontotoc Vikings were aware they controlled their destiny, but that didn’t seem to distract them one bit Friday. They took care of business in impressive fashion with a 48-13 thumping of Alcorn Central.
With the win, the Vikings clinched the Division 1-3A title, and they have now won seven of their last eight games after an 0-2 start.
“We haven’t been talking about the division championship,” said coach Brian Sutton. “Each week has been the most important game we have played, and this week was no different. What we needed to do was come out here and play well, and whatever happens happens. I thought we were very focused, and it showed.”
Indeed they were. North (7-3) exploded for a 42-0 first half behind three touchdowns from standout receiver Marcus Green. The special teams and defensive units also scored.
Green started things off by hauling in a 15-yard strike from Trey Jolly on the third play from scrimmage. An interception from Alcorn Central’s Isaac Byrom on North’s next possession gave the Golden Bears short-lived momentum, but linebacker Peyton Finch returned the ensuing punt 20 yards to make it 14-0.
Brooks Shannon then picked off Alcorn Central quarterback Josh Berry and weaved his way 60 yards to paydirt, followed by another touchdown connection from Jolly to Green, this time from 40 yards, at the 5:28 mark.
Jolly capped off a 53-yard drive with a 3-yard run in the early second quarter, and Louisiana Monroe commit Green took a toss sweep 70 yards down the home sideline with 3:07 to go in the half.
“It’s a great moment to be able to win the division with these kids, especially our seniors,” Sutton said. “It was one of the goals we set coming into the year, and we were able to see finish it off tonight. But we have to continue to hone our skills and get better.”
Berry tossed touchdown passes of 60 and 36 yards for the Golden Bears (2-8) in the second half, while North scored on a 41-yard pass from Zay Cullens to Caleb Todd.