Oct. 30—AMORY — Amory finished off a clean sweep of Division 4-3A on Friday and did it in dominating fashion, downing rival Nettleton 46-14 to officially claim the division championship.
The Panthers turned a 13-point halftime lead into a blowout in the final two quarters.
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"We knew this was a tough division, and we just preached all season to earn everything you get," Amory coach Brooks Dampeer said. "Show it and don't talk about it. I think about last spring and how far we have come since then."
Both teams struggled offensively in the early going with Amory scoring on a Jatarian Ware quarterback keeper in the first but missing their extra point.
Nettleton took a brief 7-6 lead midway through the second after Zavian Dilworth hauled in an interception and Roderick Patterson scored on a two-yard run. Jackson Cheek nailed the extra point for the lead, but it was short-lived as the Panthers scored barely a minute later when Charleston French broke free for a 34-yard touchdown run to go up 13-7.
Ware added another touchdown late in the second, and the Panthers came up with a key takeaway when Nettleton fumbled the opening kickoff of the third quarter.
French and Ware each found the end zone again to help Amory start to pull away, and they iced the win in the final four minutes.
French added his third score of the night, while Isaiah Brownlee also found the end zone on a 14-yard run after Ty Walton found Dilworth on a 32-yard strike for Nettleton's only other score.
"Our line has been blocking great all year, and we just executed tonight," said French, who surpassed 1,000 yards for the second time in three seasons.
The division title gives Amory a first-round playoff matchup at home against Mantachie next Friday night.
Turning Point: After Nettleton took a brief lead, Amory finished out the first half with two touchdowns to take control of the game.
Point Man: French piled up 200 yards even on 23 carries and had three touchdowns.
Talking Point: "We struggled with a couple of offensive linemen out, and we couldn't get any consistency going. We let some things slip away towards the end of the second quarter." — Nettleton coach John Keith
—This is Amory's eighth-straight win over Nettleton and their second-straight division title.
—Eighth-grader Braylen Williams also had an interception for Nettleton.
—Both teams continue their seasons with the first round of the playoffs with Amory hosting Mantachie and Nettleton traveling to Kossuth.