• John Macon Gillespie

Coverage Recap: South Pontotoc 42 | Vardaman 14

The South Pontotoc Cougars flashed their athleticism in a 42-14 rout of the Vardaman Rams on Thursday night.

The Cougars owned most of the game, giving the Rams fits on both sides of the football. South Pontotoc’s performance was highlighted by five touchdown passes from their senior quarterback Cole Brown. Brown’s favorite target from last season, 6’6 tight end Brett Riley, was a huge impact once again as he hauled in four of his signal caller’s five scores. Do-it-all man Eddie Ivy also caught a touchdown from Brown and ran for one against a Vardaman defense that suffered from injuries and cramps late in the game.

The Rams turned the football over six times, four of which were fumbles. Ram quarterback Trae Owen threw two interceptions late in the game in an effort to move the ball downfield quickly and lead a comeback. Part of the turnover issues were brought on by poor field conditions, but others were just the result of sloppy play indicative of the first week of the season.

There were a few bright spots for the Rams, however. On drives where Vardaman did not turn the football over, the Ram offense had a decent amount of success moving the football. The two Vardaman scores came via runs by Patrick Pratt and Michael Williams, and other solid runs were showcased by wingback Kody Townsend. On a few occasions, Vardaman had success in the passing game, namely in completions to Tanner Havens, but obviously missed the presence of tight end Wesley Casey who is expected to miss a few more weeks with a knee injury.

The Vardaman defense showed a number of impressive plays, including a backwards-diving interception made by Patrick Pratt, but ultimately succumbed to the Cougars’ superb athleticism and depth.

Turning back to South Pontotoc, the Cougars are very talented, and it showed clearly on Thursday night. South has a number of athletes that contribute heavily to an offensive scheme that wore away the Vardaman defense last night. Be sure to keep an eye on the Cougars' "big three" athletes of Brown, Riley and Ivy throughout the season. They have the potential to be something special.

For Vardaman, their attention now turns to their county-rival Bruce Trojans who will serve as the Rams’ 2017 home opener. The Rams upset Bruce 31-27 last season in what possibly has been the most impressive win of the Larry Gann era at Vardaman.

The Cougars of South Pontotoc will travel to Belmont on Friday night to take on the Cardinals. South Pontotoc edged out a win over Belmont last season 29-28.

#Vardaman #SouthPontotoc #JohnMaconGillespie

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