The East Central football team achieved its first region championship in 24 years Friday night.
The Hornets rolled to a 54-13 victory at Bay High (0-9, 0-4) behind 14 carries for 183 yards and five touchdowns by senior running back Tony Brown.
East Central, ranked No. 3 in South Mississippi by the Sun Herald, improved to 8-0 and 4-0 in Region 8-4A.
East Central head coach Seth Smith reached a goal he set for his program when he first arrived in Hurley in 2012.
“The Good Lord has blessed us with great kids and they’re reaping what they sow,” Smith said. “It’s a credit to the kids and how hard they’ve worked. They’re seeing the fruits of their labor.”
East Central jumped out to a 40-7 lead at halftime and the game was never in doubt.
“I don’t think our intensity was great,” Smith said. “I felt like we had some misalignments and things you can work on. You’re glad it happens when you win because you can come back on Monday and correct those so you can go into the next game and play better.”
Sophomore Dylan Grinsteinner added 101 yards and a touchdown on five carries for East Central.
Hornets senior quarterback Rylee Brown completed 7 of 9 passes for 90 yards and a touchdown.
Senior tight end Brad Cumbest finished with two receptions for 73 yards, including a 60-yard touchdown.
After scoring three touchdowns last week against St. Stanislaus, junior Cameron Gray again found the end zone for East Central.
East Central will travel to Vancleave (3-6, 2-2) in the regular season finale.