High School Sports

How it went down in the final seconds of Gulfport’s loss to D’Iberville

Gulfport's Jalen Knight loses grip on the ball after it is knocked from his grasp by D'Iberville's D. J. Polk at Milner Stadium, Friday Oct. 21, 2017.
Gulfport's Jalen Knight loses grip on the ball after it is knocked from his grasp by D'Iberville's D. J. Polk at Milner Stadium, Friday Oct. 21, 2017. ttisbell@sunherald.com

The Region 4-6A contest between Gulfport and D’Iberville appeared headed for overtime on Friday night at Milner Stadium.

The Admirals trailed 20-17 with six seconds left as Cain Sudduth lined up to attempt a game-tying 23-yard field goal.

A fumbled snap as time expired prevented Gulfport from attempting the kick and the Warriors held on to win 20-17.

D’Iberville (6-3, 4-1) sits alone atop the Region 4-6A standings, a game ahead of St. Martin and George County.

“Our goal is to win the Region championship,” Warriors coach Eric Collins said. “We knew Gulfport had a great team. They came ready to play. We came ready to play too. I’m proud of our players.”

Fullback Micah Booker had 105 yards rushing and scored two touchdowns on 12 carries to lead the Warriors.

“This game meant everything to us,” Booker said. “We needed a win to make the playoffs. If we lost, it meant we’d be staying at home.”

The Warriors took a 7-0 lead on Booker’s 21 yard TD run two minutes into the game.

Gulfport (4-5, 2-3) reached D’Iberville’s five yard line on its opening possession, but settled on Cain Sudduth’s 30-yard field goal to get within 7-3 after one quarter.

The Admirals had another chance to take the lead at halftime, reaching the Warriors eight behind backup quarterback Rhodes Walker. Sudduth missed a 35-yard field goal attempt, keeping D’Iberville up 7-3 at intermission.

Gulfport grabbed its only lead two minutes into the second half on TaQuavis Newsome’s 3 yard TD run for a 10-7 advantage. Cleveland Ford’s 72 yard pass to Jalen Knight set up the 82-yard scoring drive.

The Warriors, though, regained the lead as Ja’Quavis Foster’s 11 yard TD run for a 14-10 advantage.

Gulfport tried to answer, but Ford’s pass on fourth-and-11 in the end zone fell incomplete late in the third quarter.

Booker’s 1 yard TD run put the Warriors up 20-10 with 4:51 left.

Sean Daniels six yard TD reception brought Gulfport within 20-17 with 2:09 left.

After a Warriors’ punt, Gulfport had one final chance with 1:21 left in regulation to either force overtime or win in the closing seconds.

Ford drove the Admirals from their seven to the Admirals’ six with seconds left, setting up the game’s wild final play. Ford finished 20-of-33 for 341 yards and a TD. Jalen Knight had seven catches for 165 yards. Daniels had seven catches for 123 yards.

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