Itawamba AHS defeated Amory again on its home field, winning 25-0 in a MHSAA Class 4A first-round playoff game on Friday night. Back on Aug. 28, the Indians defeated the Panthers 49-7 in the first game to be played at Indian Stadium.
"They're talented," said Amory head coach Pat Byrd, whose team ended its season at 3-9 while Itawamba remained perfect at 11-0. "They got a good scheme. They coach them up well, and they got a chance to do some things."
Friday's game started out in similar fashion with Itawamba AHS scoring quickly. On the third play from scrimmage, IAHS quarterback Maikhail Miller hooked up with Kevin Marks on a 39-yard touchdown pass one minute, 30 seconds into the game.
But the Indians wouldn't score again until there was almost four minutes left in the second quarter. Miller took the liberties of scoring himself on a 1-yard sneak with 3:44 left before halftime. He would add another at the start of the fourth quarter to make it a 25-0 game.
Deshawn McGaughy had a 5-yard touchdown run for the Indians with 3:01 remaining in the third quarter.
The Panthers lost their starting quarterback Forest Williams in the third quarter when he left the game with cracked ribs.
"He got it early, fought through it the best he could, but got another lick down here inside the 5, and that pretty much did him," Byrd said. "I mean, he couldn't breathe after that."
Amory would force four turnovers, but couldn't turn those takeaways into points.
"We weren't very sharp. We had two big, big mental, emotional games the last two weeks," said Itawamba AHS head coach Jamie Mitchell, whose team has now won 11 games on the season after beating Pontotoc, Shannon and Amory in consecutive weeks. "We didn't have a really good week of practice.
"Not to take away anything from Amory though, but I just didn't think we were at our best tonight."
The Panthers would also turn the ball over twice themselves, and would miss two field goal attempts and fail to convert a fake field goal in the first half.
"You just gotta take advantage because you don't get many chances," Byrd said. "We just couldn't cash in that first half. I thought that was the difference in the football game - that and turnovers at critical times in the second half."
The Indians' win on Friday night came at a price. IAHS lost defensive back/wide receiver Devonta Jackson (broken wrist), wide receiver/punter Bronson Smith (ankle) and Marks (ankle) during the game.
"We got three skill players that we lost tonight," said Mitchell. "That can be trouble for us. We are going to have to see how bad they are, but I am very, very worried about that.
"It will be a long week for our trainer, I will tell you that."
IAHS will play the winner of Friday night's Center Hill-Elzy game.