AMORY – The Amory Panthers ate up the ground and got on track on Friday night, pounding out 476 rushing yards in a 50-21 win over Mooreville for their first win of the season.
“I’m really proud of the way we played up front. We challenged those guys and our running backs, Charleston (French) and Jaurquez (Ivy) both to go take over a football game,” Amory coach Brooks Dampeer said. “We knew that Mooreville could score really fast and really quick, so we had to keep the ball away from them. That receiver for them is a heck of a player and the quarterback as well. I’m really proud of our kids because they put a lot of hard work in, and to get the taste of victory in their mouths is good for them.”
Running back Charleston French led the way with 223 yards and three touchdowns on the night.
“Our offensive line improved this week, and we’re just focusing on continuing to get better,” French said. “We’re just happy that we won.”
The Panthers put up a quick lead, getting into the end zone on their sixth play of offense on French’s seven-yard run. Dylan Thompson tacked on the first of his several extra points on the night to make it 7-0.
Amory’s defense came up with a stop, and the offense was driving and threatening to score on its second possession when a fumble on the one-yard line was recovered by Mooreville.
The Troopers hit pay dirt on the very next play when Dawson Phillips hit Jacob Scott on the left sideline, and he raced ahead of the defense to score on a 99-yard touchdown reception to tie the game.
The Panthers were able to answer on the ensuing drive with Jatarian Ware’s 17-yard quarterback keeper giving them the lead for good.
That score started a 30-point run for Amory before Mooreville could finally answer right before the half.
Jaurquez Ivy picked off Phillips on the Troopers’ next possession, and five plays later, the Panthers cashed in with another Ware quarterback keeper.
Ivy broke loose on a 50-yard scoring run of his own less than two minutes later.
“At practice, we have just been trying to improve on our tackling drills,” Ivy said. “Coach (Tyler) Rosenthal, our defensive coordinator, has done a good job of coaching us, and so has Coach Dampeer.”
A holding penalty wiped out a Mooreville touchdown, and Amory’s defense cashed in with a sack in the end zone for a safety. Ryan Alsup, Carter Lundquist and Nathaniel Walker all contributed on the sack as the Panthers stayed in the backfield and held Phillips to negative rushing yards on the night.
Ware hit Cameron Haynes for a 26-yard touchdown pass with 4:26 left in the second quarter to make it 37-7.
Mooreville finally broke through for its second score after a few Phillips to Scott connections. Jordan Franks scored on a 7-yard touchdown run to cut it to 37-14 at the half.
The Panthers iced the win with two more touchdown runs from French on runs of 31 and three yards.
In addition to French’s 223 yards, Ivy added 111 yards and Ware another 87 yards. Amory had just 35 passing yards but finished with over 500 total yards of offense.
“We didn’t throw the ball a lot, so we have to get better at that part,” Dampeer said. “Mooreville put up 34 points the last two weeks, and I’m really proud of our coaching staff with us holding them to 21. It was a group effort.”
Amory hits the road next week, traveling to North Pontotoc for one of their final two non-division contests.