PASCAGOULA – With its two talented running backs finally healthy, the Pascagoula football team picked up its first win of the 2016 campaign Friday night.
Senior running backs Reginald Hunter and Javarous Walker both rushed for over 100 yards as Pascagoula (1-3) held off George County 36-29 at War Memorial Stadium.
“Now we know who we can be,” Pascagoula coach Lewis Sims said. “We just have to keep sharpening the edges. This is a team of great young men who worked hard. They love each other that's what this team is all about.”
George County (2-2) led 14-7 at the half, but the game turned into a back-and-forth affair in the second half.
Pascagoula senior Hunter Collins got the start at quarterback and had a hand in the decisive score when he faked the hand-off, rolled out of the pocket and found a wide open Jason Crawford in the middle of the field. Crawford took it the rest of the way for a 48-yard touchdown with 53 seconds remaining.
“I kind of figured (Crawford would be open),” Collins said. “Their safeties bite down when the quarterback rolls out. I knew right then that I was going to get them.”
The game wasn't decided until Pascagoula defensive back Laterrance Addison forced George County receiver Tyrese Fryfogle to fumble the ball in Pascagoula territory with 22 seconds remaining.
Addison had a whale of a night in the Pascagoula secondary, coming up with a pair of interceptions and the forced fumble. One of Addison's interceptions came on a tipped pass in the end zone to preserve Pascagoula's 15-14 lead with 4:00 left in the third quarter.
“Matt (Inlow), he tipped it right into my hands,” Addison said. “I was off to the races.”
Hunter finished with 15 carries for 139 yards, including a 56-yard run for a touchdown with 5:36 remaining to give Pascagoula a 29-21 advantage.
When Hunter turned the corner on the run, he had plenty of space in front of him.
“It was daylight,” Hunter said. “I believed in my line they whole time. They opened it up. I give all credit to the O-line. I love them.”
Friday night's game was the first of the season where both Hunter and Walker played. Walker missed the season opener against Moss Point, a game in which Hunter left in the second half with an injury.
Walker, who played in his third consecutive game, finished with 19 carries for 111 yards and two touchdowns.
“That is amazing,” Hunter said of playing alongside Walker. “That's a two-headed monster. That's all I wanted.”
While Pascagoula relied on a strong ground attack, George County put its faith in senior quarterback LaRaymond Spivery, who put in another strong performance. He completed 36 of 48 passes for 455 yards, a pair of touchdowns and two interceptions. He also had touchdown runs of 10 and 3 yards.
After Pascagoula went up 29-21 with 5:36 left, Spivery responded by pushing George County down the field. Jorden Ladner ran it in the end zone from 3 yards out with 2:48 left and Spivery threw a two-point conversion to Fisher Ray to tie it at 29-29.
“LaRaymond does a great job,” George County coach Matt Caldwell said. “He plays as hard as you can play. There's nothing for him to hang his head about at all.”
Pascagoula has a week off before hosting Long Beach on Sept. 23 to open region play. George County will also have a bye week and host Harrison Central to begin region competition on Sept. 23.