KILN -- Friday night's contest between Hancock and Biloxi did not mean a thing in the 6A state playoff picture.
But it meant everything to the Hawks 18 seniors who played their final game at Brett Favre Field on Senior Night in Kiln. The Hawks overcame two second half deficits to defeat the Indians 24-23.
"It's a great feeling," Hawks senior Anthony Guy said. "We won this game as a team. We stuck through the hard times and went out winners at home. It's a special moment. I'm really going to miss playing on this field and with my teammates."
Biloxi jumped out to an early lead when quarterback Trey Shaffer connected with Tim Jones on a 69-yard scoring strike on the Indians' second play of the game.
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Hancock (4-7) answered with a seven-yard scoring run by Michael Scardino to tie the score at 7 midway through the first quarter.
Shaffer and Jones connected again in the second, this time on a 62-yard touchdown pass with 2:55 to play in the second quarter for a 14-7 Indians lead.
Jones hauled in six passes for 185 yards and two scores.
With less than a minute to play in the half, Hancock quarterback Aaron Feazelle found a wide open Landon Jordan, who hauled in the pass and took it 34 yards for a touchdown to tie the score at 14-14.
With just three seconds left in the half, the Indians called on Kevin Martinez, who booted a 47-yard field goal to give Biloxi a 17-14 halftime lead.
In the second half, Feazelle took a keeper 17 yards for the touchdown for a 21-17 Hawks lead with 4:31 to play in the third.
"I thought we made some good adjustments at the half," Hawks coach Rocky Gaudin said. "We ran the ball really well in the second half. On defense, we limited Jones to only one reception in the second half."
That one reception by Jones, however, was a 35-yard catch to set up a go-ahead score by Biloxi on its next drive.
DeAngelo Mayers capped the scoring drive with a 25-yard run with just over a minute to play in the third quarter.
On the point-after, however, Hancock's Drake Necaise gobbled up the Indians' holder after a bad snap, keeping the score at 23-21.
Hancock took over at the 20, and then things got interesting.
Guy carried the ball for eight yards and a first down to the 31, but he lost control of the ball and Biloxi recovered.
The officials ruled that Guy was down, much to the dismay of Indians coach Bobby Hall. The Indians protested and were called an unsportsman-like conduct penalty. Hall continued to protest and was ejected from the game. Two more unsportsman-like penaltird gave the Hawks 45 yards of free yardage and a first down at the 23.
Elliot Nolan would connect on a 27-yard field goal to give Hancock a 24-23 lead with 8:46 to play.
Biloxi (3-8) took over at the 24 and picked up two first downs to reach the Hawks 48.
On first down, a big hit by Trenton Ladner caused a fumble that Biloxi recovered, but for a six-yard loss. After a penalty, the Indians ran a reverse to Jones, but senior Lane Ladner made a shoe-string tackle on the sideline, which possibly saved a touchdown.
A fourth down pass was incomplete and Hancock took over at the 42 with 4:01 to play.
Hancock ran Feazelle three consecutive times to set up a fourth-and-one at the 49 with just over two minutes remaining.
"Punting was not an option," Gaudin said. "I had to show the kids that I had confidence in them to pick it up. The 20 or so yards we would have gained with the punt was insignificant. We went for the win."