Starkville quarterback Montario Montgomery and defensive lineman Lorenzo Dantzler looked like they were competing against each other to see who would walk away as the game MVP.
In the second-ranked Yellowjackets’ 49-7 win over Callaway in their Region 2-6A opener on Friday, Montgomery was the catalyst behind every scoring drive. The manner in which Dantzler forced his way into the backfield to record 5.5 sacks showed why Starkville’s defense is regarded as one of the top in the state.
“I just told (Montgomery) to go out there and be the quarterback he is and get those guys in the end zone. And I was going to go out and take care of my job,” Dantzler said.
Montgomery led the charge with five touchdowns: four passing and one rushing.
It began in the first quarter when Starkville hung 21 unanswered points on Callaway (4-2, 0-1 in region). Montgomery’s 12-yard pass to Rontavius Clark put the Yellowjackets on the board first with under seven minutes to play in the period. Roughly three minutes later, Starkville took a 14-0 lead after Montgomery connected with Avery Brown for a 26-yard touchdown reception after a Callaway punt gave way to a short-field situation.
The Yellowjackets (4-1, 1-0) capped off their first quarter scoring streak with the most athletic play of the game. On the third play of a drive that started at their own 3-yard line, four-star receiver A.J. Brown made a leaping one-handed catch at the 50-yard line, broke two tackles and cut into the open field to record a 66-yard TD reception.
“We had a really great first quarter. I probably should’ve run a little more in the second quarter,” Starkville coach Ricky Woods said. “Offensively I thought we went into a lull. The second half was better, we just needed to finish the game and get better.”
Callaway scored its sole touchdown of the game in the second quarter when Tyrese Winford hit Gabe Rogers for a 27-yard touchdown reception. Winford was 8-of-16 passing for 86 yards, one touchdown and one interception. He was on the receiving end of six sacks.
Finishing was no issue for the Yellowjackets in the second half. Starkville scored 28 unanswered points through 7:24 in the fourth quarter before pulling its starters.
Starkville’s defense limited the Chargers to 142 yards of total offense. The Yellowjackets put up 486 total yards.
Facing the No. 2 team in Mississippi in its district opener was the measuring stick Callaway coach Patrick Austin needed to gauge his team’s progress through the first six weeks.
Entering Week 6, the Chargers relied on their run game, which averaged over 155 yards per contest.
The Chargers quickly learned that running against Starkville’s defense wouldn’t get them anywhere. At the end of the first half, Callaway had -12 yards rushing.
“They were a tough team and as good as advertised,” Austin said. “We got a lot of work to do. We knew that coming in. I thought we were still in it at the half. You have to continue to fight and grow.”
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Montario Montgomery, Starkville
The senior quarterback was 14-of-24 passing for 275 yards and four touchdowns. Montgomery ran in also ran in a score in the third quarter.
Number of sacks recorded by Louisiana Tech commit Lorenzo Dantzler.