High School Sports

St. Martin comes out on top against Ocean Springs after 13 years of frustration

ST. MARTIN St. Martin unleashed its potent running attack to snap a 13-game losing streak against Ocean Springs.

Juniors Ham McGee and Landon Pankonin each ran for 138 yards and scored three touchdowns as St. Martin beat Ocean Springs 31-28 on Friday night at Greyhound Stadium.

The Yellow Jackets (5-4, 2-3 Region 4-6A) keep their slim 6A state playoff hopes alive, beating Ocean Springs for the first time since 2003.

“Beating Ocean Springs was huge for us,” St. Martin coach Eddie Wayne Whitehead said. “They’re our rivals. We should’ve beaten them the last two years, but they found a way to win.”

Elijah Washington's 60 yard punt return for touchdown gave St. Martin a 7-0 first quarter lead.

McGee’s two-yard TD run extended the Yellow Jackets' lead to 14-0 15 seconds into the second quarter.

The Greyhounds cut the gap to 14-7 when Blake Noblin and Malcolm Magee connected on a 55-yard TD pass.

McGee's second two-yard scoring run put St. Martin up 21-7 midway in the second quarter.

But Ocean Springs stayed within striking distance on Magee's 55 yard interception for a touchdown, cutting the Yellow Jackets' lead to 21-14 at halftime.

Sean Gomez’s 35 yard field goal extended the Yellow Jackets 24-14 after three quarters.

Noblin and Levy connected on 27-yard TD pass to get within 24-21 with 11:55 left. Strange sequence sees the Greyhound punt hit an OS player, returned by a St Martin player and then fumbled and recovered by the Hounds.

Landon Pankonin, in his third start at quarterback, added a 19 yard TD run for a 31-21 Yellow Jackets lead with 9:08 left.

“I’m still learning the position, but it feels great to beat Ocean Springs,” Pankonin said. “I’m one of few quarterbacks at St. Martin to beat Ocean Springs (since 2003).”

Three minutes later, Ethan Ramsey’s 29 yard TD run brings Greyhounds to 31-28 with 6:25 left.

St. Martin ate the next five minutes before punting to the Greyhounds with 1:14 left. Ocean Springs (3-6, 1-4) fumbled three plays later in the closing seconds, all but ending its playoff hopes.

As Ocean Springs honored Senior night, they had a beautiful moment of silence and balloons for Sophia. St. Martin cheerleaders also displayed a decorated poster in Sophia’s memory.

Yellow Jackets linebacker Kentrell Isom, who suffered a serious neck injury at practice this week, released from Oschner’s in time for kickoff.