CORINTH – Every day this past week when he walked out to practice, Jimmy Mitchell didn’t know which players he’d have available.
If it wasn’t injuries, it was the flu.
But on Friday night, those setbacks didn’t parlay into a second consecutive loss. Instead, the Warriors bounced back from a tough defeat at Senatobia and a plethora of injuries to hold off New Albany, 35-20.
“Some years, you might have a couple of sprained ankles here and there, and others it’s something every day,” Mitchell said. “For us, it’s been something every day. But these kids were determined to get better and correct the mistakes we had last week. We did that and found a way to win.”
Mitchell attributed the victory to his defense. And rightfully so.
The Warriors took the early lead on an interception returned 26 yards for a touchdown by Diante Curlee for the 7-0 lead. Then later in the game, with Corinth up 21-14 and the Bulldogs driving, Trevor Toomer got in on the pick-six action and returned an interception 14 yards to swell the advantage to 28-14.
It was at that point Mitchell sensed his team had taken control of the game.
“That was the turning point,” he said. “We definitely had the momentum.”
Curlee also had a big night offensively.
After New Albany’s Eric Johnson scored on a 67-yard scamper to even the game at 7-apiece, Curlee hauled in a 62-yard pass from Parks Frazier, who was 14-of-26 passing for 233 yards. He also gave his team the lead for good at 21-14 on a 35-yard pass from Frazier, while his final score was the result of a fake punt that saw Jordan Parker connect with him from 35 yards out for the game’s final points.
Curlee finished with seven catches for 179 yards.
“He had a big night on both sides of the ball,” Mitchell said.
Johnson also had a big for New Albany with 128 yards on 14 carries.
“We still made some mistakes, just not as many or as big as they were last week,” Mitchell said.
There’s little time to celebrate. Next up is a date with Shannon, which was off Friday night after opening the year with two wins.
“The schedule doesn’t give us a chance to relax,” Mitchell said. “As I told someone the other day, it’s like going from childhood to manhood without ever experiencing puberty.”
NEMS Daily Journal