AMORY - The Houston Hilltoppers and Amory Panthers traded blows on Friday before Amory took the lead and the momentum headed into the fourth quarter.
Houston (5-0) quarterback Red Parker wasn’t bothered. Instead, he took the ball on a quarterback keeper, skirted 69-yards for the go-ahead touchdown, and later squashed a Panthers’ comeback attempt with an interception in the Hilltoppers’ 32-20 win on Friday night.
“Red played unbelievably,” Houston coach Baylor Dampeer said. “Totally different kid than this time last year, and I couldn’t be more proud of him. He’s grown up night and day from last year to now. (What an) unbelievable night he had.”
Parker got the scoring started with a 12-yard touchdown run in the first quarter. Jalen Washington then got into gear, carrying the ball in for a 9-yard jaunt up the middle to put the Hilltoppers up 13-0.
Amory then got on the field by marching down the field, and Jarquez Ivy ran the ball 17 yards for the score.
On the ensuing possession, Houston started on the 50. Parker connected with EJ Stovall on a 28-yard touchdown reception. Amory didn’t fold, however, and answered with a 27-yard touchdown run from Jatarian Ware.
Ware connected with Isiah Smith for 49 yards to start the second half and finished the drive with a 7-yard touchdown run to put the Panthers up 20-19.
From there, Parker took over, putting Houston back on top with his long scoring run and later adding a 23-yard run followed by a 26-yard touchdown to finish the scoring.
Amory had a chance midway through the fourth quarter, driving deep into Houston territory until the Hilltoppers forced a fumble and took over the ball.
“The defense struggled at times. (Amory) had us rolling a little bit, but down there at the end, they got it done and that’s what it takes.”
Washington had another big performance, racking up 101 yards rushing on 15 carries. Parker finished with 148 yards on 15 carries and 131 yards passing.
"We played a well-coached team. Obviously, I’m biased with my brother (Amory coach Brooks Dampeer). Glad to get that one behind us and get on to division play."
Also making plays for Houston was EJ Stovall (five catches for 88 yards). Freshman Chris Parker had a reception for eight yards and Kelby Henry had an 11-yard reception. William R Vance had five tackles, Jordan Pratt added four tackles and Stovall, Jermain Cockrell and Kemper Cook added three apieace. William Echols forced a fumble and made a pair of tackles. Jamarcus Hall had a tackle for loss.