With senior quarterback T.Q. Newsome sidelined with an injury, Gulfport needed a big fourth quarter to put away rival Biloxi 34-20 Friday night in the regular season finale.
The game was tied at 14-14 before Gulfport senior running back Tionne Frost punched it in the end zone from 3 yards out to give the Admirals the lead at 21-14 with 11:47 left.
Biloxi responded with its own touchdown, but the 2-point conversion failed and Gulfport kept the lead at 21-20 with 7:48 left.
The Admirals had a quick answer when junior quarterback Dawson Malley threw a 56-yard touchdown to Tommie Johnson to make it 27-20 with 6:00 left.
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The game was put to bed when Deshun Shields ran 37 yards for a touchdown on a reverse with 2:06 remaining.
Newsome, a Southern Miss commit, had a hand in Gulfport’s lone score of the first half on a 9-yard touchdown toss to Keeilan Thomas with 44 seconds left in the second quarter. The game was tied 7-7 at halftime.
Newsome did not play in the second half due to a sprained ankle and his status is uncertain for Gulfport’s first-round playoff game against Petal (5-6) at Milner Stadium on Friday.
Gulfport beat Petal 33-28 on Aug. 24 at Milner Stadium.
Gulfport finishes the regular season with an overall mark of 10-1 and a Region 4-6A record of 7-0.
Biloxi’s season comes to a close at 4-7 and 2-5.
Ocean Springs 24, Harrison Central 21: The Greyhounds clinched the No. 2 seed in Region 4-6A and a first-round playoff game on Friday night.
Junior quarterback Blake Noblin finished off a 50-yard drive with a 1-yard touchdown run with 2:32 remaining for the winning score.
Ocean Springs (7-4) will host Pearl (7-4) in the first round of the Class 6A South State playoffs.
Harrison Central got off to a hot start and led 14-0 with 2:54 left in the first quarter following a pair of rushing touchdowns from Jaidon McClain.
Ocean Springs answered before the first quarter was done on a short drive that was capped by a 1-yard touchdown run by Micah Kelly to make it 14-7, which was the score at halftime.
Ocean Springs took the lead on a one-play scoring drive with 6:01 left in the third quarter when Noblin hit Khalil Levy on a 40-yard touchdown toss, making it 17-14.
The Red Rebels had their own quick answer when Brandon Smith accounted for 64 yards on the next drive, including a 4-yard touchdown run. Harrison Central led 21-17 with 3:19 left in the third quarter.
Harrison Central (8-3) will travel to Oak Grove (9-2) in the first round of the playoffs.
East Central 56, Quitman 20: The Hornets had one of their best offensive performances of the season in a first-round playoff victory in Hurley.
The win sets up a what should be a challenging second-round contest with Greene County (9-3) traveling to East Central (10-0).
East Central junior running back Dylan Grinsteinner ran 15 times for 201 yards and four touchdowns to lead the Hornets in rushing. Junior quarterback Will Young added 14 carries for 110 yards and two touchdowns.
Senior running back Cameron Gray also had a nice night, carrying 10 times for 82 yards.
Senior cornerback Trenton Baldock had East Central’s other score on a kick return for a touchdown.
Hancock 24, Pascagoula 21: The Hawks (4-7) rallied from down 21-10 in the third quarter to close out their season with a win in the Kiln.
Pascagoula quarterback Slade Mink threw a 10-yard touchdown pass to Travis Watson and junior Montello Kirkland had a pair of rushing scores to account for all of the Panthers’ points.
Junior Jordan Foushee had a 9-yard touchdown run for Hancock in the first half to help keep Pascagoula lead to 14-7 at halftime.
Chris Bernard had a 3-yard touchdown run for Hancock in the third quarter and Blake Comeaux got in the end zone from 2 yards out with 2:11 remaining to finish off the comeback for the Hawks (4-7, 2-5).
Pascagoula closes the season with a record of 1-9 and 0-7.
Wayne County 42, Gautier 35: Wayne County scored with 5:15 remaining and Gautier had no answer in the final moments.
With the win, Wayne County (7-4, 4-3) advances to play at Laurel in the first round of the Class 5A playoffs. Gautier’s season comes to a close with a record of 6-5 overall and 3-4 in region play.
Dalyn McDonald had a pair of touchdown passes and one scoring run to lead the Gautier offense. Devin Dixson and Drake Thornton added rushing touchdowns for the Gators.
Northeast Lauderdale 28, St. Stanislaus 12: Brandon Bordelon had a 5-yard touchdown run to give the Rockachaws a 6-0 lead just 3 minutes into the game, but that would prove to be the final advantage of the game for SSC.
Northeast Lauderdale (7-4) will host Poplarville (10-1) in the second round of the playoffs.
Bordelon provided the other score for St. Stanislaus to make it 14-12 with 5 minutes to go in the third quarter.
The season for St. Stanislaus comes to a close with a record of 5-6.
West Lauderdale 28, Vancleave 22: West Lauderdale advances to host Florence in the second round of the Class 4A playoffs.
Vancleave senior running back C.J. Johnson tossed a 52-yard touchdown to Kade Thrash with 2:27 remaining, but it was too little, too late as the Bulldogs’ season ended on the road.
Johnson ran 20 times for 105 yards and completed four of six passes for 145 yards, two touchdowns and a 2-point conversion.
Thrash had six receptions for 155 yards and three touchdowns.
Quarterback Roy Johnson completed five of nine passes for 40 yards and a touchdown.
Vancleave, which finished 5-6, had 318 yards of total offense.
Poplarville 50, Lanier 20: The Hornets led 50-0 with 1:37 remaining in the second quarter and cruised to the first-round playoff win.
Poplarville (10-1) will travel to Northeast Lauderdale (7-4) in the second round.
Junior running back Chase Shears took his first handoff of the night and ran 54 yards for a touchdown at the 11:07 mark of the first quarter. Shears and Amahd Bolton both accounted for a pair of touchdowns for the Hornets.
Picayune 58, Pearl River Central 7: The Maroon Tide rolled in Carriere after jumping out to a 43-7 lead at halftime.
Jortin Raine had a pair of touchdown runs for Picayune, which could do no wrong in the first half.
The Maroon Tide will host Natchez (7-4) in the first round of the playoffs.
Stone 55, Long Beach 3: Stone High senior quarterback Trey Arrington had 20 rushes for 175 yards and two touchdowns. He also had 80 yards passing.
Caleb Armstrong accounted for 60 yards rushing and a touchdown along with 50 yards receiving. Freshman running back Carlos Brown added 12 carries for 125 yards and two touchdowns.
Stone High (4-6, 4-3) will travel to West Jones (9-2) in the first round of the playoffs.
George County 32, Meridian 6: Sophomore M.J. Daniels had a 25-yard fumble return for a score and a 33-yard touchdown reception on offense to led the Rebels.
George County finishes the season with a record of 4-8 after winning three of its last five games.
East Marion 36, Resurrection 7: Resurrection (6-4) will travel to Nanih Waiya (11-1) in the first round of the Class 1A playoffs.
Hattiesburg 58, West Harrison 6
Mendenhall 38, Moss Point 26