Running back VJ Swanier rushed for 315 yards and four touchdowns as Pass Christian overcame four first-half turnovers in a 38-21 victory at West Harrison High School on Friday night.
Swanier stunned the Hurricanes on the second play from scrimmage, galloping 65 yards for his first touchdown. After the Hurricanes tied the game at 7, he answered with a 56-yard run in the first quarter, giving the Pirates (2-2) a lead they would never relinquish.
The 5-foot-10, 210-pound senior added scoring runs of 1 and 14 yards.
The Hurricanes (1-2) seemingly had taken at the lead at 28-23 with 3:28 to go in the third quarter when Dayln Anderson hit Hunter Sonnier with a 25-yard TD pass. But an ineligible receiver penalty wiped out the touchdown and the momentum.
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“He (Swanier) came to play tonight,’’ Pass Christian coach Casey Wittmann said. “He is a special person, a special back. He runs extremely hard. He played with a lot of heart but our whole team played with a lot of heart.
“We had a lot of players out tonight with injuries but we had a lot of guys who stepped up and played both ways.’’
“My offensive line did a sensational job,’’ Swanier said. “The wide receivers, the coaches, the defense – they all did a great job tonight.’’
Pass iced the game with 1:48 left when senior Dustin Prince intercepted a pass and returned it 79 yards for a touchdown and Elijah Barnes added a two-point conversion to close out the scoring.
Anderson hit Tyrice Dobbins with a 56-yard TD pass with 7:57 left in the first quarter to tie the game at 7.
Pass added a safety in the second quarter and went to halftime with a 23-14 lead.
Hurricanes running back Zavion Pride, who rushed for 107 yards on 19 carries, had a 2-yard scoring run in the second quarter and he added a 13-yard TD run with 8:31 left in the third quarter to cut the Pirates lead to 23-21.
“The kids played hard,’’ Hurricanes coach Tracy Rogers said. “We caught a few bad breaks. But we have to figure out a way to get over the hump. We need to cut down some mental mistakes here and there. We will get those mistakes fixed and we will be OK.’’
West Harrison travels to West Jones next week while Pass Christian hosts West Lincoln.