The Panthers find groove in the division game


October 19 — Even with so many new faces, Amory’s football has managed to hit its stride at the perfect time.

The Panthers (5-3) started the season 2-3 against a tough schedule, but won their first three games in Division 4-3A. That includes a 34-22 victory over defending 3A champion North Noxubee County on Friday.

“We just kept improving each week,” said first year head coach Brooks Dampeer. “From week 1 until now, we continue to evolve.


Part of that evolution has been to bring first-year newbies into a lineup dotted with established veterans. Jatarian Ware, for example, has never played quarterback before this season, but he’s posting better and better numbers every week.

For the season, Ware completed 60 of 97 passes for 747 yards and six touchdowns. In the division, he’s 25 of 40 for 330 yards and four touchdowns, and he had three kills against Noxubee.

The junior also has 312 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns over the year.

“We were able to put him in good positions and not ask him to do too much,” Dampeer said.

Ware is helped by a strong offensive line led by Hayden Dozier and Ethan Kimbrough. And he has a veteran junior back in Charleston French, who has 840 yards and seven touchdowns.


Senior Jaurquez Ivy was a quick addition to French.

Newcomers are also launching into the defense. Second-year cornerback Elijah Spratt had an interception return for a touchdown last week, and junior lineman Carter Lundquist has been strong in the last few games.

“There are more newcomers doing their jobs at a high level,” Dampeer said.

They got along well with ghosts like senior linebacker TJ Huppert and second-year linebacker / linebacker Nathaniel Walker. Huppert has 35 tackles and 6 tackles for a loss, while Walker has 45 tackles, 9 TFLs and 5 sacks.

Amory’s defense came out on top against Noxubee County, recording two turnovers, then forcing a turnaround on the downs with 3:30 remaining in the game.

In fact, the Panthers have had big plays in all three phases, including a successful false punt. Everything clicked.

“Last week was a huge team victory,” said Dampeer. “The defense stopped people when they had to stop them, and the receivers played on conversion drops, the quarterback made some throws, and the running backs blocked, and the running backs made some races. “

Amory is on leave this week before closing the regular season at home against rival Nettleton next week.

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