High School Sports

Gulfport Admirals get defensive against their biggest rival

Gulfport rode a strong defensive effort to extend its dominance over Biloxi in one of the state’s top prep football rivalries.

The Admirals turned two turnovers into a pair of first-half touchdowns en-route to a 27-14 victory on Friday night at Biloxi Indian Stadium.

Gulfport (8-3, 7-0 Region 4-6A) will host Meridian in the first round of the 6A state playoffs next week at Milner Stadium. Biloxi (3-8, 3-4) saw its season come to an end on Senior Night.

“Our defense stepped up,” Admirals coach Eddie Pierce said. “Our defense has played well all year long and that’s a credit to our defensive coaches.”

The Admirals now have a commanding 29-5 record against Biloxi since 1984. The Admirals’ senior class also went unbeaten against Biloxi.

“This is my last time to play Biloxi and it feels great to beat them,” said Admirals defensive back Chad Crenshaw, who had an interception.

Gulfport took a 7-0 first quarter lead on Larazzo Shugart five yard TD run.

The Admirals padded their lead to 14-0 on Antonio Sandifer's 22 yard run early in the second quarter.

Gulfport had a chance to all but end the suspense, reaching the Indians 25. Shugart was stopped for a three-yard loss on fourth and one with 1:00 left.

Biloxi had a chance to add points, but Kenyatta Harrell was stopped two yards short of the goal line as time expired for a 14-0 Admirals lead.

The Admirals extended their lead to 21-0 after three quarters on Dawson Malley’s 11 yard TD pass to Derick Hall. Malley replaced Jalen Knight, who was filling in for injured starter TQ Newsome. When Knight left the game, he had 93 yards rushing.

Sandifer’s 22 yard TD run in the fourth gave Admirals a 27-0 lead.

Biloxi avoided a shutout on a pair of Donte Starks short touchdown runs in the game’s final three minutes. Starks, who replaced Brodie King at quarterback, scored on runs of two and five yards.

James Jones: 228-896-2320, @_jkjones