Panthers claim 4-3A split for second straight year

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Oct. 28 – NETTLETON – The Amory Panthers asserted first-half dominance and proved why they are atop the division 4-3A, claiming a 51-0 win over Nettleton on Thursday.

“We left no doubt tonight, and it was a team effort from these guys,” Amory coach Brooks Dampeer said. “Nettleton are a very explosive team, but our defense did a good job shutting them out and we headed the ball down well.

After Amory’s first possession ended in a turnover on the downs, a Cameron Haynes interception returned the ball to the Panthers (9-1, 4-0) at the 44-yard line. A series of runs from Charleston French and Jatarian Ware set up a 3-yard touchdown by French to take a lead.

A safety on a bad snap added to Amory’s lead in the first, and French conceded a 40-yard touchdown on the second play of the following possession to make it 16-0. French scored twice more in the second quarter with touchdown passes for 14 and 9 yards, giving Amory a 30-0 lead before halftime.

“My O line did a great job of blocking for me, and we executed our game plan all around,” French said. “It’s always great to hit 1,000 yards (in a season), and I want to thank God for letting me do it again this season.”

The Tigers (6-4, 1-3) picked up some momentum at halftime after Zavian Dilworth came away with an interception. After a defensive save, Amory came out in the second half and found the end zone on consecutive possessions, scoring on a 3-yard run from Ware and a 13-yard run from French.

Braden Maranto sealed the deal for the Panthers with a 3-yard touchdown midway through the fourth quarter.

Bonus Points

Turning point: Amory took a 30-0 lead before halftime after a 9-yard touchdown by French.

Point Man: French eclipsed 1,000 rushing yards this season in this victory, totaling 210 rushing yards on 19 carries and five touchdowns.

Talking point: “We had lineup breaks early on that created chances for Amory, and penalties killed a couple of our drives.” — John Keith, Nettleton trainer

Remarks

—Haynes and Dorian Ewings each had interceptions for the Panthers defense.

—Amory now holds a nine-game winning streak against Nettleton.

—The Panthers host Yazoo County in the first round of the playoffs next Friday, while Nettleton travels to Winona.

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