Sophomore T.J. Polk found some success and ran with it in North Pontotoc’s offense last Friday.

North Pontotoc beat Bruce, 42-6, while quarterback Polk scored five touchdowns – three rushing and two passing. His three rushing touchdowns came from 3, 16, and 21 yards, while his two passing touchdowns covered 38 and 53 yards.

Polk scored one touchdown in the first two games of the season, as North Pontotoc (2-1) beat Saltillo, 7-6, and lost to Water Valley, 36-7.

“He’s growing and he’s getting better every week,” North Pontotoc coach Andy Crotwell said. “He’s hungry to do well, and he’s hungry to learn. I thought the offensive line blocked really well and made a lot of nice holes.”

In the win, Polk scored two of his rushing touchdowns in the first quarter. Soon after, turnover issues ensued as he fumbled a snap late in the first quarter then threw an interception early in the second.

After his interception, Polk ran for his third touchdown of the game, then hit Hayes Malone for a 59-yard touchdown, his first touchdown pass of the season.

“He had a bit of a rough start, but after the interception, I thought he settled down and played football even thought he had been running the football pretty well to that point,” Crotwell said. “He just has to continue to make good decisions like he did for the last three quarters of the game.”

In the second half, Polk hit Kaden Wilson for a 38-yard touchdown before running back Raquan Booth added a 44-yard touchdown run of his own.

Crotwell said Polk seems to understand more in the passing game and is running with more authority, but he still has a long way to go to correct mistakes.

This week, Polk and the Vikings will host South Pontotoc in an annual rivalry game.

“This will be his first time through the game,” Crotwell said. “He’s had success in spurts, and hopefully we can make the successes last longer and the miscues shorter. I think he is going to come ready to play.”

The Cougars (1-2) are coming off their first win of the season over Aberdeen, 24-20. In its first two games, South Pontotoc was outscored 71-18.

Last year, North defeated South twice, 29-14 in the regular season and 55-14 in the playoffs.

dalton.middleton@journalinc.com

Twitter: @DLMiddleton8

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