LIBERTY — Amite County’s Kobe Johnson intercepted a last-second Leake County Hail Mary and ran it back 101 yards to ice the Trojans dominating 34-6 win over the Gators Friday night.
After starting off the year with a loss to Jefferson County and missing a week because of Hurricane Ida, the Amite County Trojans returned to and used a strong run game and defense to beat Leake County.
“This was a confidence booster that our kids needed and hopefully will set a tone for the rest of the season,” Amite County head coach Reginald Lumpkin said. “the kids were excited and this will go a long ways in helping us grow as a team”.
Johnson, the Trojans’ quarterback, hit receiver Ronald Bates in the first quarter for a play action pass and a quick 41-yard touchdown that came after the Gators were forced to punt on their opening possession.
On their next possession the Gators couldn’t get anything going and punted again. The Trojans took over at their own 40 yard line.
Amite County crossed the goal line again in just four plays when Johnson connected with Jabari Robinson for a 12-yard touchdown pass.
The Gators’ offense continued to stall out in the second quarter as Fred McNeil Jr. got a 5-yard sack that forced Leake County to punt again.
When the Trojans got the ball back, Johnson quickly broke off a 47-yard run that set up the Trojans at the 10 yard line. Murphy Sanders III broke off a 7-yard run and Murkelin Thompson scored from three yards out. The Trojans missed the two-point conversion try but held a 20-0 halftime lead.
Amite County opened the second half with Terrance Harrell caught Leake County’s attempted onside kick on a bounce and raced 26 yards to the Gators’ 39. Emaja Thompson added a 25-yard run and the Trojans were at the Gators’ 10 yard line but a penalty forced the Trojans to turn turning the ball over on downs.
Scoring didn’t pick back up until the fourth quarter, when the Gators started the quarter off with a big play for a 44-yard touchdown, making it 20-6.
The Gators kicked a short sky kick that Trojan returner Emaja Thompson initially dropped but quickly picked up and raced 72 yards for a touchdown. Murkelin Thompson added a 2 point conversion and the Trojans were up 28-6 heading into the last two minutes of the game.
The Gators moved the ball into Trojan territory and hoped to score on a Hail Mary with five seconds left, but Johnson picked off in the end zone and returned it, giving the Trojans a final score victory of 34-6.
Cornelius Harness led the Trojans in tackles with 11 and Lumpkin.
“Cornelius came up big for us tonight. He played hard and just made a lot of plays,” Lumpkin said. “I was pleased with Jabari Robinson on both sides of the ball and I thought the middle of our offensive line did a good job”.
Johnson led in rushing with 78 yards, while Sanders had 62 and Emaja Thompson had 43.
Bates caught a 41-yard touchdown pass, Emaja Thompson added a 28-yard catch and Jabari Robinson caught a 12-yard touchdown pass.
Johnson completed 3 of 8 passes for 81 yards and two touchdowns.
Robinson had 10 tackles, McNeil and Ambelic Nichols both finished with nine each.
The Trojans moved to 1-1 on the season and will host Perry Central Bulldogs next week.