Perhaps it’s a bit early in the schedule to call Polk County Middle School’s 32-16 win over Canton Middle School a season-defining victory.
But as the seconds wound down Thursday at PCMS, it certainly felt that way.
The Wolverines opened their 2013 home schedule with a convincing win over the Bears, marking the first time in school history that Polk defeated the traditionally strong Canton program.
Polk (2-0) scored a touchdown in each of the game’s four quarters in building a 32-0 lead, perhaps no sequence of plays better detailing the story of the game than those that led to Polk’s third score.
Having stopped Canton (1-1) on a fourth-and-2 on the Bears’ opening drive of the third quarter, Polk County took over on the Canton 45. On the next play, Dillion Overholt took a pitch and knifed his way through the Canton defense for an apparent touchdown. The score, however, was negated by a holding penalty.
Backed up 10 yards for its next play, Polk this time called on Elijah Sutton, who swept untouched around right end for a 55-yard scoring run. The 2-point conversion, one of six in the game, gave Polk a 24-0 lead with 4:20 left in the third.
“Our offense was strong today,” said Polk County head coach Billy Alm. “The line did a great job of blocking, and our skill players are very solid.”
Polk extended the lead to 32-0 on the first play of the fourth period. Facing a fourth-and-10 at the Canton 34, seventh grade quarterback Peyton Kemmerlin rolled to his left, stopped and found Arnie Twitty open across the middle of the field. Twitty hauled in the pass and scampered into the end zone to give the Wolverines, following the 2-point conversion, a 32-0 edge.
Canton came back with two touchdowns late in the game, the final one with 56 seconds remaining, but could only watch at the end as the Wolverines celebrated a statement win.
“This is the first team we’ve ever beaten that team. They’re a powerhouse, they’re always tough to beat,” Alm said. “So we’re pretty excited about that.
“Defensively, Coach (Ben) Johnson put in a defensive scheme for the special offense they run, and he coached them up well. They executed and did a great job.”