• John Macon Gillespie

Coverage Recap: Pontotoc 29 | Noxubee County 20

We knew that this Friday night in “The Hollow” in Pontotoc could be special, and it did not disappoint. This pivotal 4A playoff matchup featured the two-time reigning state champion Noxubee County Tigers (9-4, 5-0) against the Pontotoc Warriors (12-1, 4-1) who were hoping to keep their “Cinderella season” alive.

Early in the game, Noxubee showed off its offensive prowess both on the ground and through the air. The first points of the game came on the Tigers' second possession on a touchdown pass from Armoni Clark to Javarcus Walker. The following possession, Clark found the athletic Kyziah Pruitt for another Tiger touchdown, giving Noxubee a 14-0 lead.

The Warrior offense struggled early on against the formidable Noxubee front seven, but Pontotoc's fortunes would change late in the first half.

The Pontotoc offense turned the ball over on downs in the red zone late in the second quarter. A Noxubee fumble on the next play, however, gave the Warriors new life. The next play from scrimmage saw Pontotoc's Gabe Harmon trot into the end zone and pull the Warriors within one score at the half.

The second half saw Pontotoc score 15 unanswered points via a touchdown pass from Jacob Carter to Austin Morphis and another rushing touchdown from Gabe Harmon. Pontotoc saw their first lead of the game extended to 22-14 by the end of the third quarter.

The Tigers, however, would not see the game go away so easily. Clark would complete a screen pass early in the fourth quarter to Jaqualyn Smith who went the distance to narrow the deficit to 22-20. Noxubee failed to convert the two-point conversion after the score.

So there we stood. Would Pontotoc hold on to knock off the reigning state champions and keep their season alive? Or would Noxubee snatch victory out of the jaws of defeat in an attempt to win another title? Pontotoc went on to erase any doubt of the outcome.

Pontotoc quarterback Jacob Carter completed a screen pass to Austin Morphis for a late-fourth quarter touchdown for the proverbial nail in the coffin. Pontotoc's lead extended to what would become the final score, 29-20.

The Warriors showed tremendous resolve in the face of adversity from a very talented Noxubee County team and the added variable of a rainy evening. If you've never been to a game in “The Hollow” at Pontotoc, you're missing an absolute treat. The Warrior fans know how to support their school, and it's an unforgettable football experience.

Pontotoc improves to 13-1 on the year and will face Lafayette in the 4A North Half Finals this Friday night. Noxubee finishes their great season at 9-5.

Players of the Game:

Noxubee County: Armoni Clark

Pontotoc: Gabe Harmon

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