High School Sports

Pascagoula senior turns disaster into improbable TD to spark jamboree win

Pascagoula’s Jacoryn Walker stars in jamboree win at St. Martin

Pascagoula running back Jacoryn Walker scored two touchdowns in a 14-3 win over St. Martin in a jamboree game.
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Pascagoula running back Jacoryn Walker scored two touchdowns in a 14-3 win over St. Martin in a jamboree game.

Pascagoula scuffled to a 3-0 deficit in the first 16 minutes of Friday’s jamboree at St. Martin, and it appeared things were about to get much worse for the Panthers.

On third-and-long inside near the St. Martin 20, a long lateral from freshman quarterback Keilon Parnell to senior running back Jacoryn Walker missed the mark and the ball began to roll well up field.

Walker threw his hands up in a brief moment of exasperation before the entire Pascagoula sideline started yelling at him to go chase the ball. He did just that, and averted disaster far better than his coaches and teammates could have expected.

He scooped up the loose ball and somehow scrambled his way through the St. Martin defense for a 32-yard touchdown run.

“I was fixing to give up, but I kept going,” Walker said. “I heard my coach say, ‘Get it! Get it!’ so I got it and something good came out of it.

“He threw it to me. I had turned around and the lights had got in my eyes, but I didn’t ever give up. I kept going.”

The 5-foot-9, 210-pound Walker turned in a solid statistical performance in a scrimmage that lasted only two quarters with three runs for 45 yards and one catch for 42.

The senior appears to be a bulkier version of his older brothers, Jakwaize and Javarous, who both starred on offense for the Panthers at quarterback and running back.

“I got a lot of shoes will,” Jacoryn said.

As for how he he’d differentiate himself from his older brothers, “I’m a little bit bigger, little smarter.”

“My brothers are on me every day, telling me to work hard,” Jacoryn said.

Friday night’s 14-3 win in the jamboree had several moments of tough luck early on for Pascagoula, including an injury to starting quarterback Terrence Goodwin on the game’s opening drive. The sophomore was expected to receive an X-ray to determine the extent of his injury.

Parnell was solid in Goodwin’s place, avoiding the big mistake at quarterback.

The Panthers put together a good showing on defense, including an interception by sophomore Tavion Evans in the second quarter to set up Walker’s second score.

“The (offensive) line did a good job up front and defensively we swarmed to the football, forced some turnovers,” Pascagoula coach Lewis Sims said. “We turned some broken plays into big plays and that’s one of the signatures we’ve had previous to the last two years. We’re trying to bring that back.”

The St. Martin offense moved the ball well at times, including a 55-yard pass from senior quarterback Patrick Greer to Marguez Glispy on the first snap of the game for the Yellow Jackets.

Sophomore Gabe Showalter finished off the drive with a 37-yard field goal to take the early 3-0 lead.

“Offensively, I thought we started well,” St. Martin coach Eddie Wayne Whitehead said. “But we didn’t finish the drives. We could have been up 14-0, but we weren’t. When you don’t score when you get those opportunities, it turns the game around.”

St. Martin will host Forest Hill on Aug. 23 to start the regular season.

Other scores

Biloxi 9, George County 3

Greene County 28, Vancleave 3

St. Stanislaus 21, Gulfport 7

Oak Grove 13, Stone High 0

Moss Point 21, West Harrison 0

Bay High 21, Lumberton 6

Gautier 14, Pass Christian 14

Polarville 14, Wayne County 7