After giving up its third safety in four weeks, and enduring a rare double turnover in a sloppy first half, Corinth put together back-to-back scoring drives in the third in scalping Pontotoc 28-2 at Warrior Stadium II.
Corinth (6-1, 1-0) ran its winning streak to five while opening up Division 1-4A on the positive side of the ledger.
The homestanding Warriors took a 14-2 lead to the break despite mustering only 76 total yards on 27 plays. The defense held its on, allowing Pontotoc just one first down -- that by penalty -- and 2 yards on 22 snaps.
Corinth’s defense set up the game’s first score as Quajae Fisher stripped Jarren McKinzie at the CHS 4 following a 53-yard punt by John Michael McFall.
Antares Gwyn called his own number on the ensuing play and the first of four point-after kicks made it 7-0 less than four minutes into the contest.
Pontotoc got its lone points in the closing seconds of the first quarter when Nicky Martin blocked a punt out of the end zone.
Corinth’s defense gave the host offense another short field on Tanner Maness’ second interception in as many weeks. CHS, which picked up only six first downs in the opening half, got two in going 31 yards, the last on a 13-yard scoring run by Brice Spence.
Up 14-2, Corinth got its third turnover of the half and came a mere inches from adding another score. Jay Jones stripped a Pontotoc receiver following a 12-yard completion, and Kyoshi Agnew hauled in the loose ball and headed toward the endzone.
Agnew lost possession before crossing the goal line and the ball went out of the side of the endzone, resulting in a rare double turnover and giving Pontotoc possession and a new set of downs at its own 20.
Corinth threatened one more time before turning the ball over on downs in Pontotoc territory.
The host club came out of the break and put the game away with consecutive scoring drives. CHS went 79 yards -- surpassing its first half offensive total -- in 11 plays, pushing the lead to 21-2 on Agnew’s 14-yard run.
After the defense held Pontotoc to a three-and-out or better for the seventh time in eight possessions, Corinth went 65 yards in eight plays. Spence tallied his second score, this one from 28 yards out with 3:14 left in the third.
The two second-half scoring drives alone netted nine first downs, and 144 yards on 19 plays. This coming after a mere six first downs and 76 yards on seven first-half possessions.
Corinth totaled 18 first downs and 267 yards on 60 plays. Agnew had 141 yards on 26 carries and Spence added 106 on 21 as CHS rushed 58 times for 262 yards.
Pontotoc managed seven first downs and 65 yards -- 56 on its final drive -- on 46 plays. Corinth held Pontotoc to a minus-6 yards rushing on 29 attempts.
Corinth 28, Pontotoc 2
Pontotoc 2 0 0 0 -- 2
Corinth 7 7 14 0 -- 28
COR -- Antares Gwyn 4 run (John Michael McFall kick), 8:22
PON -- Safety, punt blocked through end zone, 0:16
COR -- Brice Spence 13 run (McFall kick), 9:53
COR -- Kyoshi Agnew 14 run (McFall kick), 8:14
COR -- Spence 28 run (McFall kick), 3:14