Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College ran away with Thursday night’s MACJC South game against Southwest, topping the visiting Bears 52-13.
“Tonight was much better; much better effort in all three phases,” MGCCC coach Chad Huff said. “The kids came out and played with emotion from the very beginning to the very end.”
In a night full of highlight reel scores, perhaps no excursion into the end zone was flashier than Saivion Smith’s to open the second half.
The LSU transfer scooped up the opening kickoff around the 8, sprinted through a crowd down the home sideline, ran over the kicker at midfield and then reversed field the rest of the way for a 92-yard score.
“I saw the lane and I just hit it,” Smith said. “I knew I had to beat the kicker — I had a hard time with that in high school — but I did it there.
“It felt good to finally, finally get one.”
Outside of Smith’s score, Gulf Coast (5-2, 3-1) scored its six other touchdowns on the ground.
“They’re really starting to believe in one another out there. There’s a chemistry amongst the whole offense, all 11 of them out there,” Huff said. “The explosive runs and big plays come from those guys finishing blocks down field.”
Quarterback Larry Sisson opened Gulf Coast’s scoring with a 9-yard run in the first quarter. After Southwest (0-7, 0-4) responded with a score of its own running back Deandre Torrey broke loose for a 16-yard score to push MGCCC ahead 14-6.
Former Stone standout Terrion Avery added touchdown runs of 3 and 40 yards. Javarous Walker scored late in the third quarter on a hard 14-yard run up the middle.
Antjuan Rogers concluded Gulf Coast’s scoring with a 1-yard touchdown mid-way through the fourth quarter.
Former Stone Tomcat Mason Hunt also converted a 27-yard field goal.
Torrey entered the game as the nation’s leading rusher and had another typical performance, finishing with 183 yards on 24 carries. Avery added 121 yards on 15 touches.
Sisson, who reclaimed the starting quarterback duties last week after former Ohio State quarterback Torrance Gibson left the program, completed 4 of 9 passes for 56 yards.
“We’re still building (the passing attack),” Huff said. “Tonight when I thought we had to make some throws we did. We have to finish a catch down here one time and Landon (Rice) made a big catch in our two minute offense.
“We’re going to try to take advantage of what the defense gives us.”
Southwest’s two touchdowns came on a 40-yard pass from Juwan Adams to Julius Faulk Jr., and a 33-yard pass-and-catch from Neil McLauren to Anthony Jones.
Gulf Coast is back in action next Saturday at rival Pearl River Central. Kickoff is set for 2 p.m.
Smith, who holds offers from Alabama among other big-time programs, said he plans to take official visits to Alabama, Mississippi State and Auburn. He said he had hoped to take one to South Florida, too, but plans fell through.