Special to the Journal
CORINTH – Corinth’s ground game didn’t miss a step even though its leading rusher was unable to suit up.
Kyoshi Agnew and Brice Spence stepped in to run for more than 100 yards apiece to lead the Warriors to a 28-2 win against Pontotoc in the Division 1-4A opener for both teams on Friday.
An injury sidelined Kendrick Williams, who had 510 rushing yards for Corinth, the Journal’s No. 2-ranked team in 4A/3A and No. 5 statewide in Class 4A.
“We’ve got good chemistry,” said Spence, who rushed 20 times for 109 yards and two touchdowns, about his relationship with Agnew. “In practice and in the game, we feed off one another. In the backfield, we compete for the most yards.”
Sophomore quarterback Antares Gwyn also helped the Warriors (6-1, 1-0). After Pontotoc fumbled away a punt return, Gwyn scored on a 4-yard run to get on the board with 8 minutes, 22 seconds in the first quarter. After that, Agnew and Spence – both seniors – pounded away.
“The line was pushing hard, and we’re that small combo – big (jersey number) 6 and big 3,” said Agnew, who had 27 carries for 140 yards and a TD. “We feel like we can stand up in our division if we just keep playing hard.”
Spence scored on a 14-yard run in the second quarter. He and Agnew added TDs in the third period on carries of 28 and 14 yards.
“They’re like brothers,” said Corinth coach Doug Jones. “I was hoping (they) would step up and take up the slack.”
The only points for Pontotoc (1-6, 0-1) came near the end of the first quarter when Nicky Martin blocked a punt by John Michael McFall and the ball deflected through the back of the end zone for a safety.
“Our defense played well, but we were unable to keep them off the field,” said first-year Pontotoc coach Scott Brown. “The guys are still playing hard, though, and we have a chance in every game we’ve got left.”