NETTLETON – The Nettleton Tigers know how to break a streak. They recorded their first win over the Aberdeen Bulldogs since the special 2006 season in dominating fashion with a 43-0 shutout on Friday night behind strong performances by Dedrick Johnson and Davis Oswalt.
“We’re still working towards that complete game on both sides of the ball,” Nettleton coach Ken Topps said of the shutout victory. “And now we’re heading in the right direction.”
Nettleton’s Roderick Patterson took the opening kickoff all the way to the Aberdeen 32-yard line. Jamonte Guines converted a third down, and Graham Gardner’s pass to Micah Carrisoza set the Tigers up inside the 15. After a false start penalty against the Tigers, Gardner’s pass was picked off by Johnathan Moore, who brought it back to the Bulldog 47.
Xavier Young and Moore got the ground game going, getting some good yardage. An unsportsmanlike conduct call against the Tigers put the Bulldogs at the Nettleton 43. A short gain by Moore was followed by C.J. Arnold throwing a pick to Dedrick Johnson.
The Tigers started their second drive from their own 43-yard line. Gardner’s pass found Johnson, who took it to the house to put the Tigers on the board, and Jackson Cheek added the extra point to make it a 7-0 lead.
After an offside call gave the Bulldogs a first and five at their own 40, Carrizosa sacked Arnold to put the Aberdeen offense in a deep hole. Marcus Thomas made sure they stayed there with a hit on Moore to force the punt.
An offside call gave the home team the ball at its own 43. A pass to Johnson got the ball to the Bulldog 41, and tackles by Jenari Bell and Moore set up a 3rd and 5 from the 36. Zavian Dilworth got enough to move the sticks after a measurement, but Tyrese Daniel sacked Gardner to erase those gains. A costly unsportsmanlike conduct penalty against the Bulldogs after a catch by Ladarius Pounds set the Tigers up inside the 5-yard line. Pounds took it in for the touchdown with 26 seconds left in the quarter to make it 13-0 after a missed extra point.
The kickoff was fumbled, but Colby Johnson recovered to start the drive at their own 30. It went downhill quickly, as Arnold’s keeper was snuffed out by Parker Flurry and Carrizosa to end the quarter. A false start penalty put the Bulldogs behind, and then Johnson got his second pick of the half to put the Tigers at midfield.
“When you’re playing defense, you gotta be ready for anything,” Johnson said of his two interceptions. “When you see the ball thrown, you got to go get it.”
The Bulldogs got the ball back a few plays later, but Young was stopped by Marcus Thomas and Jake Lauderdale to force a punt. Eubanks fumbled the snap on the punt. He recovered, but George Self blocked it and Davis Oswalt took it to the house for the score to go up 19-0.
The Bulldogs got the ball back at their own 20 and started to get something going on offense. Moore converted on 3rd and 7, but it went downhill from there.
“We come out and laid a big fat egg,” Aberdeen coach Alex Williams said. “They took it to us and clearly wanted it more than us.”
After the fourth down stop, Johnson took a Gardner pass to the end zone, and Cheek’s kick was good for the 26-0 lead.
On the ensuing drive, the Bulldogs, and Flurry recovered for the Tigers. JaNolan Jones got a big tackle on a third down keeper by Gardner. The Tigers went for six again, but after a pass interference call against the Bulldogs in the end zone, Cheek made a short field goal to make it a 29-0 halftime lead.
The Bulldogs got the ball to start the second half and Isaac Watson took it to the 34-yard line. Moore and Young kept the ball on the ground to put the Bulldogs at the 6, but Oswalt made the stop to turn the ball over on downs.
The Tigers handed it right back with a fumble, but their defense stiffened, with Charlie Sullivan and D.J. Ivy getting a stop before Flurry and Unarius Miller got a crucial fourth down stop. The Tigers’ next drive was short lived with a shoestring sack by Bell and a T.J. Fields interception to put the ball at the 9-yard line.
The Aberdeen possession was short-lived as Miller recovered a fumble for the Tigers, who went three and out on the ensuing drive.
Fields called for a fair catch on the next punt, and the Bulldogs got the ball at their own 42. Thomas blew up the play on first down and put the Bulldogs behind the chains again. Oswalt picked off Arnold on third and 14 took it all the way home for the touchdown and the 36-0 lead late in the third.
Jacorrien Moore scored on a 42-yard run on Nettleton’s ensuing possession, and Cheek’s kick stretched the lead to 43-0.
Both teams begin division play next week with the Tigers traveling to Belmont, while the Bulldogs face Choctaw County on the road.