Friday was a big night for Stone High for a number of reasons.
For starters, Friday was the No. 6 Tomcats’ home opener at the newly renovated A.L. May Memorial Stadium on Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College’s campus.
Couple that with it being homecoming and head coach John Feaster’s first game against his former team in No. 7 Pearl River Central and the Tomcats had plenty of motivation.
The home team didn’t disappoint, rolling PRC 49-19.
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“The kids came out intense,” said Feaster, a former Blue Devil defensive coordinator. “Last year I was over there and with it being homecoming, they wanted to win.
“I’m just glad we got the victory.”
The Tomcats (4-1, 1-0 Region 4-5A) forced four turnovers in the first half to set the tone. At one point, Stone actually recovered two fumbled quarterback/running back exchanges sandwiched around a pick-six by Ereon Harris on successive plays.
“It was a little bit of everything. I don’t know if we had jitters or what,” PRC coach Larry Dolan said. “We just didn’t click on offense. We fumbled the ball, had busted plays and I don’t know. Just one of those nights that didn’t go right.
“We’re better than that, but they have a great football team.”
Stone made sure to capitalize on its opportunities, scoring on all but one of its first-half possessions. Only the game clock striking zero stopped the Tomcats in the first half.
“They beat us by 40 last year so we came out with that in the back of our heads,” Stone running back Terrion Avery said, pointing to PRC’s 68-28 win in 2015. “We came in with a chip on our shoulder tonight.
“It wasn’t said too much, but you could tell by the way we came out.”
Avery once again ran wild on Stone’s opponent. The senior scored four times on runs of 14, 1, 2 and 86 yards and finished with 273 yards on 19 carries.
“He’s a special kid. He had a great summer and worked hard and that’s the fruits of his labor,” Feaster said. “I’m thankful to have him. As a staff, we know if Avery gets going the team gets going.”
The highlight of the night was Avery’s 86-yard run, which pushed Stone ahead 49-6 late in the third quarter. After finding room up the middle, Avery hit the PRC sideline with receiver Nick Brown and a defender in stride. Avery looked like he might get knocked down around the opposing 20, but Brown picked up the block and Avery narrowly made it into the end zone.
In addition to Harris’ 20-yard pick-six in the second quarter, Kentrell McCray scored on runs of 22 and 31 to round out Stone’s scoring.
Although it was a difficult night overall for PRC (2-3, 0-1), Blue Devils quarterback Wyatt Davis finished with impressive numbers. The senior completed 17 of 19 passes for 296 yards with two touchdowns and one interception. Diante Lenoir caught one touchdown for 65 yards and Cade Lee caught a 28-yard score. Louis Reece scored PRC’s other touchdown on a 2-yard run.