Despite Pearl River running back Darious Leggett’s 203 yards rushing and two touchdowns, Itawamba defeated the Wildcats 51-34 on Thursday at Dobie Holden Stadium.
The Indians (3-2) scored three touchdowns down the stretch to pull away.
The teams were tied at 20 after the first quarter. Itawamba added 10 points in the second quarter for a 30-20 halftime lead. Dan Ellington connected with Chris Long for a 7-yard touchdown to lead 27-20. The Indians kicked a field goal for a 10-point lead.
Pearl River (1-4) scored to start the second half, trailing 30-27 on Leggett’s 1-yard touchdown run. But the Indians outscored the Wildcats 21-7 the rest of the way
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Octavious Matthews’ 20-yard touchdown run extended the Indians’ lead to 37-27.
Ellington’s 11-yard touchdown to Dorian Gaston gave Itawamba a 44-27 lead after three quarters. Ellington’s 8-yard touchdown pass to Dontavis Bruce closed out the Indians’ scoring in the fourth.
Pearl River’s final score came on a 60-yard pass from Tim Arnold to Joronnie Hinton in the fourth.
“I’m really proud of the way our team fought tonight,” said Wildcats coach David Saunders. “We never stopped fighting. Hats off to Itawamba. They are a tough football team and executed their offense well. We made some mistakes. We moved the ball well, then we turned it over a couple of times there that got us in trouble.’’
Itawamba took a 7-0 lead, but Arnold’s 37-yard touchdown run cut the Indians’ lead to 7-6. Itawamba led 13-6, but the Wildcats scored two quick touchdowns for a 20-13 lead. Matthew Eaton of Pascagoula scored on an 18-yard run and Leggett added a 1-yard touchdown run.
Arnold completed 6 of 12 passes for 117 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions. He also rushed for 92 yards.