High School Sports

Moss Point can’t keep East Central’s explosive Tony Brown in check

East Central running back Tony Brown
East Central running back Tony Brown Amccoy@sunherald.com

For the first half, Moss Point’s defense managed to bottle up East Central running back Tony Brown on Friday night. He was held to 79 yards on 12 carries.

But in the second half, Brown exploded, scoring on runs of 69 and 56 yards to lead East Central in a come-from-behind 27-21 win over Moss Point at Dantzler Stadium.

Brown, who entered the game with 1,687 yards and 18 touchdowns, had 243 yards on 27 carries against the Tigers. Brown needs only 70 yards to pass the 2,000-yard mark.

“At the half, the coaches pulled me out of the room and told me it needed to be the ‘Tony Show,’” Brown said. “It was all in my head. I knew if my team was going to win, I had to get going.”

East Central (4-3, 1-0) didn’t do anything to leash Brown in the second half.

“We executed the plays and held onto the football,” Hornets coach Seth Smith said. “He’s a very, very special player. He has great speed and he is really tough.”

Brown felt the second half was following his offensive line’s blocks. Brown goes for 2,000 yards against Pass Christian next week.

“I owe it all to my offensive line,” he said.

“It was a really big win for us,” Smith said. “It was our first district game, and we want to extend our season this year. This game was huge.”

For Moss Point, the game was about missed opportunities. The Tigers have dropped four straight.

Omni Wells ran for 140 yards on 20 carries for the Tigers, scoring on first-half runs of 3 and 31 yards as Moss Point took a 21-12 lead at halftime.

However, the Tigers couldn’t keep the lead in the second half, particularly the fourth quarter, when Moss Point had minus seven yards offense.

“It was a hard-hitting game, but we didn’t score in the second half,” said Moss Point coach Willie Brown. “We came up short, but we have to find a little more.”

East Central had two runners over 100 yards Friday, gaining over 400 yards on the ground against the Tigers. Ryan Evans added 122 yards on eight carries, scoring on a 16-yard run in the first quarter. Jessie Bradley added 49 yards on nine carries and Jared Daughdrill scored on a 23 yard run. Brad Cumbest had two catches for 42 yards.

Moss Point scored on a second-quarter, fourth-down 30 yard pass play from Romello Leggins to Jonavan Jackson. Leggins finished 6-of-14 for 83 yards. Amari Williamson had four catches for 42 yards.