In six years on the job, Seth Smith has become the winningest football coach in East Central’s history.
The Hornets rolled to a 35-10 victory over rival Vancleave Friday night behind another strong defensive showing from the Hornets.
Smith improved his career record to 43-28 at East Central, giving him the most wins of any coach in program history. He eclipses his father-in-law, Dodd Lee.
Friday’s victory also finished off the school’s second consecutive undefeated regular season at 9-0.
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“The Good Lord has blessed me with a great opportunity here,” Smith said. “I’ve been blessed to work with great coaches and some of the finest young people you’d ever meet.”
East Central (9-0) will host Quitman (5-6) in the first round of the Class 4A South State playoffs. The winner of that game will advance to play the victor of Greene County-McComb.
East Central junior quarterback Will Young had a nice game, running 12 times for 86 yards and two touchdowns. He also tossed a touchdown to Peyton Lundy.
On defense, Joel Reiser added an interception return for a touchdown.
Senior linebacker Avery White also got in the end zone when he recovered an onside kick and returned it for a touchdown.
“Give Vancleave credit. They played hard and their coaches had a great plan,” Smith said. “But our defense is very, very special.”
White finished with 15 tackles, including three for negative yardage.
Vancleave (5-5) will travel to West Lauderdale (10-1) in the first round of the playoffs.
Moss Point 29, Bay High 19: The Tigers put together a strong second half to clinch a playoff bid Friday night in Bay St. Louis.
The Tigers (4-7) will travel to Mendenhall (9-1) for a first-round playoff game.
“We were just hanging in there, not giving up and playing through adversity,” Moss Point coach Eugene Harmon said. We just pretty much never gave up. We never got in the groove offensively until the second half. We woke up, started moving the ball in the second half. In the second half, we started finishing drives.”
Keandre Booker had a pair of rushing touchdowns for Moss Point and Carlos Matthews turned a fake punt into a touchdown for the Tigers. The first score of the night for Moss Point was a touchdown toss from Ruben Lee to Larry Simmons.
Bay High’s season came to a close with a record of 1-9.
Harrison Central 27, D’Iberville 21: Harrison Central senior quarterback Dayln Anderson had another big game, completing 14 of 19 passes for 276 yards, three touchdowns and one interception.
His top target was Jacobi Moore, who had six receptions for 104 yards, including a 53-yard touchdown in the first quarter.
Erion Moore also had three catches for 70 yards, including a 57-yard touchdown in the third quarter.
Isaiah Atkins also had a touchdown catch in the third quarter from 45 yards out. He finished with three receptions for 60 yards.
Gino Johnson led Harrison Central (8-2, 5-1) with 14 carries for 103 yards. Jaidon McClain added a touchdown run in the third quarter.
Picayune 42, Gautier 35 (OT): Picayune quarterback Jakail Myers punched it in the end zone in overtime to allow the Maroon Tide to improve to 7-3 overall and 5-1 in Region 4-5A.
Gautier, which has clinched a spot in the playoffs, had the ball first in overtime, but a fake field goal proved unsuccessful on an incomplete pass.
Picayune led 35-21 with 8:08 remaining, but Gautier had the final two scores in regulation — a kickoff return for a touchdown by Kameron Kincaid and a touchdown run by Kolby Packnett.
Gautier dropped 6-4 overall and 3-3 in region play.
Poplarville 48, Lawrence County 14: The Hornets won their third consecutive Region 7-4A title by scoring the final 41 points of the game.
Poplarville (9-1, 5-0) will host Lanier (7-4) in the first round of the playofffs.
Chase Shears had three rushing touchdowns for Poplarville, including an 82-yarder in the first half. Antonio Barnes and Cory Knight both added a pair of rushing scores.
PRC 27, Stone High 22: Senior Kobe Whitehead had three rushing touchdowns to help the Blue Devils improved to 4-6 overall and 3-3 in Region 4-5A.
Detrich Spikes had the other PRC score on a 10-yard run.
Hancock 21, Biloxi 14: Hancock (3-7, 1-5) took advantage of two Biloxi fumbles in the first quarter to end a seven-game losing streak.
A 29-yard run by Jordan Foushee and a 5-yard run by Trenton Ladner gave the Hancocks a 13-0 lead at halftime.
Biloxi scored twice in the second half on a 1-yard run by quarterback Tristan Pearson and a trick play that involved a 38-yard touchdown toss from receiver Mondre Stewart to Jervin Smith.
Hancock used a trick of its own for the decisive score on a 57 yard flea-flicker from Caleb Garcia to Peyton Miller.
Blake Comeaux led Hancock in rushing with 84 yards.
Pearson had 80 yards on 20 carries.
St. Stanislaus 24, Pass Christian 7: Junior Brandon Bordelon ran for three touchdowns and William Weber kicked a 38-yard field goal to lead the Rockachaws.
St. Stanislaus (5-5, 4-1) will host Northeast Lauderdale (6-4) in the first round of the playoffs.
Wayne County 43, West Harrison 24: Joe Miller had 18 carries for 166 yards and two touchdowns for West Harrison, which dropped to 2-8.
St. Martin 41, Pascagoula 0: St. Martin senior quarterback Mileon Graham ran for three touchdowns and threw for two more as the Yellow Jackets cruised.
St. Martin (6-4, 3-3) will play D’Iberville (5-4, 3-3) next week in a game that will decide the fourth and final spot in the postseason out of Region 4-6A.
Petal 27, George County 7
Hattiesburg 60, Long Beach 3
Collins 34, St. Patrick 0