Slow start costs Choctaw County in loss to Vikings

By Austin Bishop

The Choctaw Plaindealer

 

Coach Adam Dillinger expects his Chargers to open this week’s game at Union with a little more excitement than they did last Friday night in a 31-21 loss to homestanding North Pontotoc.

“We didn’t come out with a lot of enthusiasm,” Dillinger said of his team’s effort against the Vikings last week. “We didn’t play with quite the same effort in the first quarter as we did in previous games.”

The result was a 21-point outburst by North Pontotoc that proved just a little too much for the 2-1 Chargers to overcome.

“You take away the first quarter and we win the ball game,” Dillinger said. “But you can’t do that. We didn’t really change anything after the first quarter, we just started player harder.

“Give them a little credit,” he said of the Vikings. “They came out and made some big plays pass plays.”

The veteran head coach said his team better be ready to play when the game starts against Class 2A Union on Friday, which has gotten off to a 3-0 start.

“They are really good,” Dillinger said of the Yellowjackets, who own victories over Nanih Waiya, Choctaw Central and Sebastopol. “They are undefeated and have been playing well. They are just going to do what they do and you are going to have to stop them.”

Despite falling behind by 21 points early against North Pontotoc, the Chargers came back to cut the NPHS lead to 28-21 in the third quarter and after blocking a punt, found themselves at the Vikings 30-yard line.

“We got the ball down to around the 20 and just stalled,” Dillinger said. “That was really our last chance to tie the game and it was in the third quarter.”

Choctaw County scored a pair of second quarter touchdowns on a 5-yard run by Jamarcus Bradley and a 29-yard pass from Bradley to Willie Miller. North Pontotoc, which improved to 1-2 on the season with the win, led 28-14 at the half. Corey McPherson scored on a 5-yard run in the third quarter to cut it to 28-21 before North Pontotoc added a fourth-quarter field goal.

Bradley rushed for 138 yards on 16 carries to lead the Chargers, while hitting on 6-of-13 passes for 86 yards. Tay Edwards rushed for 37 yards on 11 carries for Choctaw County, while T.C. Hatchett had three catches for 34 yards, while Miller, McPherson and Clay Grissom had one catch each.

Senior Kavon Dobbs led the CCHS defense with nine tackles, while Trey Brown and Kellen Lang each had seven tackles. Brown and Miller record two sacks each, while Anquan Smith, Jay Davis, Taboris Lee, and Savian Winters had one each. Davis also recovered a fumble for the Chargers.