BRANDON — They say games are won at the line of scrimmage.
Well, the Brandon defensive conducted a clinic on that Friday night.
Behind the stingy defense and a passing game the Bulldogs ran past Gulfport 28-0 in the first round of the MHSAA Class 6A playoffs at Louis Gene Strickland Field.
Brandon (10-3) will travel to Petal next week in the second round of the playoffs.
“Their defensive line flat out whipped us tonight and made us go one dimensional,” said Gulfport coach Eddie Pierce. “That was the difference. Defensively we played lights out, but offensively we couldn’t get anything going.”
Gulfport was held to just 11 yards rushing, 134 yards of total offense and did not cross the 50-yard line. The closest they got was on a 21-yard fake punt by Lucious Tyson to reach the Admirals' 46-yard-line in the second quarter.
“Defense just played outstanding for us ever since we’ve started district play,” said Brandon coach Tyler Peterson. “Gulfport’s defense was good especially in the front seven, but our offense's plan was to chip away.”
Brady Anderson led the way offensively for Brandon, going 11 of 22 for 90 yards with three touchdowns.
His first score went to Bo Whatley on a 21-yard touchdown pass to give Brandon a 7-0 lead with 1:34 left in the first quarter.
His other two touchdown passes went to Matt Stowers, the first was from 16 yards out and second from 26 yards out.
Jeremy Kelly had a 40-yard interception return for a touchdown with 2:06 left in the fourth quarter to put the Bulldogs up 28-0.
Cleveland Ford led the way offensively for Gulfport going 14 of 28 passing for 102 yards with an interception.
“I am proud of the guys for fighting all season long,” Pierce said. “We had to win our last two games just to get in the playoffs. We didn’t play well tonight, but Brandon is a great football team and I wish them well the rest of the playoffs.”