By Ruthie Robison The Choctaw Plaindealer
The Ackerman Indians hosted the Class 3A Winona Tigers last Friday night in a home opening showdown.
Last season the Indians were unable to contain the Tigers losing the matchup 34-28. However this year with the help of a solid Indian defense, Ackerman was able to turn out a new ending to their rematch opponent.
A defensive battle brewed between the Indians and Tigers in the first quarter. Each team tried to put together a successful scoring drive but came out empty handed.
Winona was close to reaching the end zone in their second drive of the game, but the strong Indian defense held the Tiger offense back until forcing a turnover on downs.
But the very next play, with 2:10 on the clock Winona recorded a safety after bringing down K’Tre Brown in the end zone. The Tigers gained a 2-0 lead.
The Indians answered back in the middle of the second quarter when quarterback Dakota Brasher pushed his way past Tiger defenders one yard for an Ackerman touchdown. After the extra point, the Indians took the lead, 7-2.
Ackerman retrieved another scoring opportunity in the next play after recovering the ball on the kickoff at the Tiger 29. Capitalizing off the kickoff recovery, several plays later Brasher connected with Lenny Taylor on a 13-yard touchdown pass. The Indians advanced their lead 13-2.
Winona, with the next possession, geared up it’s offense. The Tigers added points to the scoreboard with 1:57 left in the first half of the game when Patrick Purnell dashed 3 yards to the end zone. After an unsuccessful two-point conversion, the Tigers trailed 13-6.
After halftime on their first possession, the Indians jump-started their ground attack when Brown made a 35-yard dash setting up another scoring opportunity for Ackerman. A couple of plays later, the Indians reached the end zone for the third time on a two yard run courtesy of Brown. With 8:30 on the clock, the Indians increased their lead 19-8.
Both teams’ offense was silent for the rest of the third quarter.
Early in the fourth quarter, Winona tried to put together a comeback. Purnell stepped up big for the Tigers after jolting 43- yards for the touchdown. After the extra two points, Winona continued to trail 19-16 with 8:38 remaining in the game.
The Indians held on to ball in their next possession until just over a minute was left in the game.
With Ackerman in control of the game, the Tigers did not have enough time to put together a scoring drive.
Brasher led the Indian offense rushing 79 yards on 20 carries and going 7-15 through the air on 76 yards with one rushing touchdown and one passing.
Cody Harris followed with 13 carries on 100 yards, while Brown stacked up 13 carries on 35 yards with one touchdown.
Taylor led in receiving catching three tosses on 50 yards with one touchdown.
This Friday the Indians, with a 2-0 record, will host the French Camp Panthers in a non-division, in county matchup.
Last season Ackerman defeated the Panthers 25-7.
French Camp has a 1-1 record after defeating Weir 52-0 last week.
Kickoff for this game will be at Dale Davidson Field, Friday at 7:30 p.m.