SPRINGVILLE - The South Pontotoc Cougars continued to move the ball on the ground, but an undefeated Itawamba AHS squad proved too much in a 47-14 Homecoming loss on Friday.
The Cougars (1-6) found themselves in a hole early, as the visiting Indians (7-0) returned the opening kickoff to South’s 20 yard-line. Two plays later Ike Chandler scored on a short run. The extra point was no good, and the Indians led 6-0 with 11:21 to play in the first.
The Cougar defense rose to the occasion later in the first quarter, stifling an Indian drive and forcing a fumble on the five yard line. The celebration was short lived, however, as Itawamba’s Isaac Green intercepted a Cougar pass and carried it in for a defensive score to put the Indians up 12-0 with 6:24 to play in the first quarter.
Chandler soon added two more scores, and Itawamba pulled ahead 26-0.
Cougar quarterback Eli Allen connected with running back Cody Stutsy for a sizeable gain, as South began a solid drive late in the first quarter. Allen then rolled to his right and hit a 20-yard completion to Isaac Finley. Stutsy carried it in from two yards out, and with the extra point from Noah Fleming the Cougars were on the board, trailing 33-7.
Itawamba quarterback Jaxon Nolan hit receiver Tae Chandler for a 50-yard gainer on the ensuing possession. Then Anthony Dilworth carried it in for a short touchdown, and with the PAT the Indians carried a 40-7 lead into halftime.
Early in the third quarter Cougar defensive end Zac Patterson delivered the hit of the night, rattling the Indian ballcarrier, jarring loose a fumble, and abruptly ending an Itawamba drive.
Trequan Hallman scored behind a convoy of solid blocks, sweeping right, and with the extra point the Cougars edged closer at 47-14.
Running back Gary Griffin muscled his way to some sizeable yardage in the waning moments of the fourth quarter, breaking tackles and showing a lot of heart, but the game was well out of reach.
The Cougars will travel to take on Pontotoc High School on Friday night.