Defensive back Lucious Tyson’s 100 yard interception for a touchdown kept Gulfport’s state playoff hopes alive.
The Admirals defeated Ocean Springs 31-0 on Friday night at Hugh Pepper Field.
Gulfport (5-5, 3-3 Region 4-5A) must beat Biloxi next week at Milner Stadium to clinch a 6A state playoff berth. Ocean Springs (4-6, 2-4) will play its regular-season finale next week.
“Our kids worked hard all week,” Admirals coach Eddie Pierce said. “I’m proud of them and our coaches for preparing them. Our backs were against the wall. It’s a good win.”
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The Admirals took a 7-0 first quarter lead on Ta'Quoris Newsome’s one yard TD run.
Gulfport opened the second quarter with an impressive scoring, ending with Larozzo Shugart 18 yard TD reception from Cleveland Ford for a 14-0 halftime lead.
Ocean Springs reached Gulfport’s 35 yard line on its final possession of the first half, but consecutive sacks ended the scoring opportuntity.
The Greyhounds appeared to have momentum on their opening drive of the second half, reaching Gulfport’s 10. Tyson’s pick six delivered the knockout punch for a 21-0 Admirals lead.
“I knew they were going to Austin Williams on the play,” Tyson said. “I read the quarterback’s eyes and made a jump on the ball. This game was huge for us. We needed to win this one and Biloxi to make playoffs. If we had lost, our season was over. I’m a senior. I didn’t want my season to end.”
Gulfport scored the game’s final 10 points in the fourth quarter: Shugart’s six yard TD run and Sudduth’s 28 yard field goal.
Ford was 5-of-7 for 113 yards and TD, rushing for 75 yards on 10 carries.