The Yazoo City Indians dropped their first game of the year with a 22-8 loss to the Canton Tigers this past Friday night. The Indians were forced to play the majority of the game without starting quarterback Christopher Burnett, who went down with a hamstring injury seven plays into the contest.
From that point on, the Indian offense struggled mightily and were never able to get back on track. Two plays after Burnett left the game, backup quarterback Devan Drain fumbled the ball over to the Tigers at the 7:14 mark of the first quarter. The Indian defense, however, came up with a turnover themselves on the ensuing possession when Christopher Bell picked off a pass near midfield.
Neither team threatened the other much in the first quarter and the score remained knotted at zero entering the second quarter.
On their opening drive of the second quarter, the Indians mounted a lengthy drive into Tiger territory only to have the drive end abruptly after a Drain interception. Canton, however, was unable to cash in and was forced to punt the ball back over to the Indians.
Desperately trying to gain some momentum, the Indians took over near midfield but saw their drive end in heartache as the Tigers picked up a Drain fumble at the 46 yard line and returned it all the way for a scoop and score with less than a minute remaining in the half. They would add the two-point conversion run to take an 8-0 lead into the intermission.
The Tigers would add to their lead in the third quarter on a 34-yard pass from Gabrel Gee to Shemar Porter. Gee added the two-point run to give the Tigers a commanding 16-0 lead.
The Indian defense was able to put the first points on the board on Canton’s next possession as holding penalty in the endzone while Gee was trying to evade the rush of Indian defenders Anthony Brown and Marty Carson resulted in a safety and a 16-2 score.
The Indians opened the fourth quarter with a 4-play scoring drive that culminated in a 23-yard Christopher Bell touchdown run with 8:40 left to play. The conversion attempt failed, but the Indians had narrowed the lead to a one-score deficit.
The Tigers, however, quickly killed any thoughts of a comeback on the ensuing possession after Gee connected with Porter on a 52-yard pass and catch all the way to the Indian one-yard line. Gee rumbled in from a yard out to end the game’s scoring and seal the 22-8 win.
Bell led the Indians in rushing with 28 yards and one touchdown while Rosonia Stiff added 16 yards and Tyviunta Clayborn had four.
Brown led the Indian defense with nine tackles and 2 sacks. Dewanya Jones had three tackles, an interception and a forced fumble, Bell had four tackles and an interception, and Drain had a fumble recovery.
The Indians are off this week and return to action September 25 at home against Louisville.