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Senatobia's Deondre House tries to shake off Independence's Grant Woolsey in the second half. House rushed for over 200 yards for the first time this season and scored three touchdowns.

      By Brian Lentz

      When Independence’s Kylan Garrett reached the end zone late at Senatobia last Friday, there was a small bit of jubilation on the Wildcats’ sideline. As the clock hit zeros, however, the only cheers that were heard came from the other side of the field, as the Warriors celebrated a 44-18 victory.

      Senatobia’s (1-2) victory only added to the Warriors’ winning streak against its longtime county rival, which now stands at 24 years. For IHS (1-2), the result simply gave the Wildcats more heartbreak in a long, brutal chapter of the rivalry.

     “We’ve put a huge emphasis on being able to run the ball and hoping that we could coming in,” Senatobia coach Brooks Oakley said. “If we can run the ball, that opens up everything else. We haven’t been able to do that the last two weeks and I think that was the big key tonight.”

     SHS wasted no time digging Independence into a hole, as Niageria Young capped off a five-play drive with a touchdown carry from nine yards out early in the first quarter. After Koby Rhone converted the PAT, the Warriors led 7-0. Both teams would then trade turnovers entering the second quarter, before a Brennan Glass touchdown brought Independence right back into the swing of things at 7-6.

     Senatobia responded on the very next drive, however, as John Michael Foster connected with Deidrick Orange on a 55-yard touchdown pass. From there, the Warriors never relinquished the lead, as a Young interception helped set up a Deondre House touchdown just six plays later, pushing the score to a 20-7 advantage.

       Garrett put Independence back on the board and within a touchdown midway through the second quarter, but once again, Senatobia answered back with House’s 53-yard rush on the first play of the Warriors’ possession. After forcing a Wildcat punt, the Warriors marched down the field yet again, as Foster hit Young for a 19-yard touchdown pass to give SHS a 27-12 lead at the half.

       Senatobia took the foot off the gas a little in the second half, but the scoring train kept rolling. House closed out the third quarter with a bang, scoring from six yards out to extend the Warriors’ lead to 41-12. The Wildcats failed to make any kind of dent in the lead for most of the fourth quarter and Koby Rhone’s field goal with 3:10 remaining in the contest just gave SHS the icing on the cake, keeping the rivalry win streak alive while providing Senatobia with its first win of the season.

       House was back to his usual self, rushing for 211 yards and three touchdowns on 17 carries. Foster finished 7-of-12 for 136 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions to lead the Warrior offense. For IHS, Glass went 4-for-11 for 95 yards and one interception and R.J. Wilson was limited to just 81 yards on 23 carries.

      As a team, Senatobia totaled 421 yards of offense with 285 rushing yards, compared to 261 yards from the Wildcats. The Warriors also took care of the ball, suffering just one turnover on the night.

      Senatobia will now face a daunting task that could define its season. The Warriors will prepare for three straight road contests and a bye week, staying away from the friendly confines of Varner Field until Oct. 5, beginning with Friday’s contest at Charleston.

     “They’re going to be fast and be able to run at every position,” Oakley said, on his next opponent. “They’re not going to be down. We know what we’re going to get and they’ll be ready for us. I think our guys will be ready for them too.”

     For Independence, meanwhile, the focus turns to Byhalia this week and IHS coach Richard Russo has a crucial week of practice ahead to prepare for an emotional Indians’ squad.

     “We can’t let Senatobia beat us twice,” Russo said, alluding to carrying over mistakes into next week. “We have to get clicking on all three phases and that’s been up and down so far. They physically beat us tonight from the players on the field to myself. We will never use injuries as an excuse. We just didn’t get the job done tonight and that has to change (this week).”

       Both games will kickoff at 7 p.m., with the Warriors at Charleston and the Wildcats hosting Byhalia.


Vardaman 35, Coldwater 0

      Trailing 14-0 at the end of the first quarter, Coldwater was unable to overcome the deficit and fell on the road at former 1A division foe Vardaman last Friday night.

      Vardaman led 28-0 at the half and added one more touchdown late in the third quarter to secure the win.

      Coldwater (1-2) will return home to host North Delta this Friday night at 7 p.m. The Green Wave (0-3) are coming off a 7-0 loss at Lee Academy (Miss.) this past weekend.


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