By Brad Locke
For Corinth Today
CORINTH – Down three touchdowns early, Corinth just stuck to what it does best, and it paid off big.
Michael Baugus drilled a 31-yard field goal with 16 seconds left, and the Warriors stunned Pontotoc – the Journal’s No. 4-ranked large school – 27-24 Friday night in the second round of the MHSAA Class 4A playoffs.
It was the second field goal of the game for Baugus, whose 35-yarder cut Pontotoc’s lead to 21-17 at halftime.
“That’s something you do every day out here,” he said of the game-winner. “It’s great to actually do it.”
The kick capped a stunning comeback by Corinth (7-5).
Pontotoc (11-2), the 2-4A champ, scored two touchdowns in the first 83 seconds and led 21-0 after a quarter. But the host Warriors stayed with their Wing-T rushing attack and made adjustments on defense.
Special teams came up big, too, when Pontotoc punter London Jordan was sacked at his own 7-yard line. That led to Corinth’s first score.
“The momentum, we had it all. And it just flipped, just like that, with a punt,” Pontotoc coach Jeff Carter said.
Tam Patterson led the rally, rushing for 152 yards and two touchdowns on 18 carries. Corinth gained all 271 of its yards on the ground.
After the early deficit, Corinth coach Todd Lowery said the plan was simple.
“We said, we’ve got to get back to grinding it.”
Corinth did just that on the opening drive of the second half, driving 80 yards in 17 plays. Patterson scored on a fourth-and-goal from the 1 for a 24-21 lead.
Turning Point: Corinth’s 80-yard scoring drive to open the third quarter took 8:25 off the clock.
Point Man: In addition to his field goals, Baugus executed a successful onside kick and had punts of 38 and 47 yards in the second half.
Talking Point: “He told us to keep our heads up, stay in the game, make a comeback.” – Patterson, on Lowery’s message after the early deficit.
• Carter, Pontotoc’s QB, completed 18 of 34 passes for 248 yards, three TDs and two interceptions.
• Chris Kelly rushed for 68 yards and a touchdown for Corinth.
• The Warriors will face Noxubee County in the next round.
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