High School Sports

Pascagoula running back shatters school rushing record

Pascagoula running back Dalvin Abney (7) celebrates with lineman Jaeden Ridgeway (52) after scoring a touchdown against Gautier during the first half, Friday, Sept. 8, 2017, at Gautier High School.
Pascagoula running back Dalvin Abney (7) celebrates with lineman Jaeden Ridgeway (52) after scoring a touchdown against Gautier during the first half, Friday, Sept. 8, 2017, at Gautier High School. Special to the Sun Herald

Dalvin Abney rewrote Pascagoula’s single-game rushing record Friday night, running for 355 yards and four touchdowns as the Panthers won their eighth consecutive Singing River Classic, beating Gautier 40-21 on Friday night.

Abney broke a 24-year Panther record. In 1993, Treg Thomas rambled for 331 yards to set the Pascagoula single-game rushing record. Abney broke the record late in the fourth quarter. With the Panthers facing a second-and-25 from the Gautier 26, Abney ran for 15 yards, bringing his total to 344 yards. On the next play - his final play of the game - he ran for 11 yards.

“I’m speechless,” Abney said after the game. “I feel blessed. I need to thank the Lord and my offensive line.”

Offensive linemen Ja’Lyric Molton and Elijah Salters enjoyed watching Abney run for the record.

“It feels great,” Molton said. “It gets you excited when you open up holes and he hits the hole hard. I told him all night long that we were going to open up the holes for him and get him into the endzone.”

“It’s really a rush,” said Salters. “It means that you and the rest of your brothers on the line did what they were supposed to do. It means just as much to us as it does to (Abney).”

Abney knew at the half that he had a chance to get the record, going into the locker room with 241 yards.

Abney ran the ball 30 times for the Panthers (2-2), running for 10 or more yards 15 times on the night. Five times he ran for over 20 yards and twice he rambled for over 50 yards, both times in the second quarter - a 54 yard run that led to a missed field goal and a 53 yard sprint that put Pascagoula up 20-7.

“The offensive line opened the holes for me all night,” he said. “I was able to hit the holes hard and fast.”

Abney opened the game with a 6 yard touchdown run to cap a 10-play, 67-yard drive where he set the tone for the game running eight times for 57 yards. In the second half, he scored on a pair of 11-yard scoring runs.

“We just fed him the ball,” said Pascagoula coach Lewis Sims. “At the half, we said to get the ball to our seniors and the offensive line did a great job.”

Gautier coach Chris Peterson was impressed.

“I thought their offensive line and Abney took over in the second half,” he said. “Abney hit the holes hard and was running downhill. He made some impressive cutbacks tonight. I saw a lot of talent tonight.”

Abney’s big night overshadowed a great night by Kameron Kincaid throwing the ball for Gautier. Kincaid was 11-of-18 for the Gators (1-3), keeping Gautier in the game by throwing a pair of scoring passes to Daylan Ray and a 19-yard touchdown pass to Makael Calhoun.

“Kincaid made some good throws tonight,” Peterson said. “He was accurate with the football.”

Ray caught five passes for 73 yards, including touchdown passes of 14 and 16 yards. York Washington caught three passes for 31 yards.

Peterson noted the Gators’ non-district season was over, with Gautier opening Region 4-5A play in two weeks on the road against Hattiesburg.

“We can’t let this loss trip us up in district play,” Peterson said. “We have to become mentally and physically tougher.”

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