The Pass High Pirates opened Division 8-4A play with a resounding 34-6 win over rival Bay High in Pass Christian on Friday.
The Pirates wore down the young Tigers with sustained drives and hard-hitting defense. The Pirates offense scored a touchdown in every quarter, and the defense added an exclamation score on a 70-yard VJ Swanier interception return to close out the game’s scoring.
“It’s a big win for us,” said Pirates’ coach Casey Wittman. “We started out good, and that was a big part of it. They’re a young team, and they’ve got kids going both ways.
“Our defense played really well tonight,” added Wittman. “They have two really good backs, and I think we slowed them down tonight.”
The Pirates opened the game with a 13-play drive that exhausted more than six minutes of game clock. Swanier capped the drive with a five-yard carry for the first score.
The Pirates second score came on a 13-yard Gerald Jones sweep early in the second quarter. The two-point conversion failed and the Pirates led 13-0, which was the halftime score.
Sophomore Tionne Frost extended the Pirates lead with an 8-yard carry with just over eight minutes remaining in the third quarter.
The Tigers got on the scoreboard with a 9-yard carry by Vernon Barnes with 1:43 remaining in the third quarter. The PAT kick was blocked, and Pass led 20-6 at the end of three quarters.
Swanier broke free down the home sideline for a 62-yard carry for a touchdown, but the score was nullified on a holding call against the Pirates. Six plays later Frost scored his second touchdown of the night, this time on a 25-yard carry through the middle of the Tigers’ defense. The Pirates led 27-6 with just under 10 minutes remaining in the game.
Bay High picked up two first downs on their ensuing possession, but the Pirates tightened the clamps, forcing a fourth-and-27 for the Tigers at the Pass 42. With pressure all around him, Jaylen Wilson threw a pass downfield, which was intercepted by Swanier and returned 70 yards for a touchdown to close out the game’s scoring.
Swanier led the Pirates with 92 yards on 14 carries and a touchdown. Tionne Frost carried five times for 40 yards and two touchdowns, and Gerald Jones rushed for 27 yards on four carries and a touchdown.
Pass High quarterback Dustin Allison completed 7 of 12 passes for 88 yards.
“Coach Wittman has a good squad,” said Bay High’s coach Ben Foreman. “He’s got some upperclassmen. We’ve got lot of young players.
“They did a good job of wearing us down,” added Forman. “That number 12 (Swanier) is a load.”
The Pirates’ record improves to 4-2 (1-0, district). The Pirates travel to East Central next Friday.
Bay High’s record is 2-4 (0-1, district). The Tigers host St. Stanislaus next Friday.