St. Stanislaus denied Bay High a first down on the Tigers’ final possession of the game, and the Rock-a-chaws held on for a 42-35 win at Bay High on Friday night.
In a classic match-up of local rival teams, each seeking their first district win, this was a game of two halves as Bay High (5-2, 0-2) led 21-19 at halftime, and St. Stanislaus (4-3, 1-1) would win the scoring edge in the second half (23-7).
Bay High rushed for over 300 yards on the night, led by Noah Cutter with 179 yards and three touchdowns. Sam Sheppard finished with 123 yards on the night.
It was a game that pitted a St. Stanislaus aerial attack against a grinding Bay High rushing attack.
Max Favre led the Rocks, completing 23 of 34 passes for 340 yards and five touchdowns and a 2-point conversion.
“Max has been so accurate,” said St. Stanislaus coach Nathan Encrapera. “What Dallas (Payne) has done the last three weeks is just been incredible. He’s catching everything. And Max has been so accurate, not just to Dallas, but to (Bradley) Darby and Connor Ladner.”
The Tigers scored on their first three possessions of the first half, but the Rocks’ defense set the tone on the Tigers’ first possession of the second half, denying the Tigers a first down, forcing a fourth and ten. Then the Rocks blocked the punt to give the Rocks great field position at the Tigers’ 37 yard line.
“They got pretty stingy,” said Encrapera. “The hard thing about the wing-T and the triple option is you can’t replicate that in practice. The speed and how the ball hits and when the ball gets to the line of scrimmage and things like that, we just can’t replicate. I couldn’t be any prouder of these kids.”
Favre connected with .Darby for 30 yards before connecting with Payne for 5 yards in the end zone to give the Rocks the lead at 25-21 with just under nine minutes on the third quarter clock.
St. Stanislaus went with the onside kick and recovered to give them excellent field position at the Bay High 37 yard line. They settled for a 30-yard field goal to increase their lead to 28-21.
Cutter responded for Bay High with a 64-yard carry to even things up at 28-28 midway through the third quarter.
Favre led the Rocks 87 yards on the ensuing possession and Hogan Benvenutti recovered a Rocks fumble in the Tigers’ end zone to give the Rocks the lead for good at 34-8.
The Rocks intercepted the Tigers on their ensuing possession, and the Rocks capitalized as Favre completed two passes, a 12-yarder to Ladner and a 25-yard score to Payne to close out the game’s scoring.
“I think we showed great character tonight,” Bay High coach Eric Collins said. “I don’t think we showed great character last week. So in that respect I think that our program grew exponentially by how well we played. I am really proud of our kids and how we played.”
St. Martin 27, Harrison Central 0: St. Martin senior running back Jay McGee ran for a pair of second half touchdowns to finish off a dominant victory for the Yellow Jackets (6-1, 2-1).
Makia Hebert and Kevin Ferguson had rushing touchdowns in the first half to put St. Martin up 14-0 at the half.
D’Iberville 42, West Harrison 7: D’Iberville senior athlete Jaden Walley had six carries for 75 yards and two touchdowns, and also had two catches for 78 yards and a touchdowns.
As a team, D’Iberville ran 39 times for 274 yards and five touchdowns.
Senior Ezekiel Wright led D’Iberville with 10 tackles.
Gulfport 31, Hancock 28: Admirals running back William Jones punched it in the end one from 1-yard out with 6:18 remaining and Gulfport held on for the win at Milner Stadium Friday night.
Senior running back Tyran Gable led Gulfport, which improved to 5-2 overall and 3-0 in Region 4-6A, with 127 yards rushing. Senior quarterback Cade Crosby also had a pair of passing TDs.
Senior running back Sebastian Fausett ran for 146 yards and two touchdowns for the Hawks, which dropped to 3-4 and 0-3.
Wayne County 42, East Central 40: The War Eagles (5-2, 3-0) rallied from a 20-7 deficit in the first quarter to pick up a key Region 4-5A victory in Hurley.
Zhakerreun Wesley ran for the final two scores of the night for Wayne County, including a 57-yard run with 8 minutes remaining in the game.
East Central senior quarterback Will Young, who had 21 carries for 114 yards and four touchdowns, ran 1 yard for a score to cut the Wayne County lead to 42-40 with 3 minutes left, but that proved to be the end of the road for the Hornets (4-3, 1-2).
Senior Dylan Grinsteinner led East Central with 21 carries for 211 yards and a TD. Teshun McGee ran 13 times for 146 yards and a TD.
Vancleave 29, Moss Point 22: The Bulldogs improved to 4-3 and picked up the win in the Region 8-4A opener at Moss Point Friday night.
Vancleave kept ir on the ground for the vast majority of the game with Christian Kell and Chase Aubry both providing a pair of touchdowns each. Both of Kell’s TD runs were from 1 yard out.
Aubrey had a 4-yard touchdown run in the first quarter and a 28-yarder with 2:52 remaining that proved to be the winning score.
Kell also came up with an interception to end Moss Point’s final drive and allow the Bulldogs to run out the clock.
Moss Point dropped to 1-6 and 1-1.
Picayune 48, Hattiesburg 15: Picayune senior running back Cameron Thomas ran 16 times for 216 yards and three touchdowns to allow the Maroon Tide to stay undefeated at 7-0 and 3-0 in Region 4-5A.
Austin Samples, Kade Turnage and Jakail Myers also had rushing scores for the Maroon Tide as they avenged last year’s loss to the Tigers.
Pascagoula 22, Gautier 16: Montello Kirkland made a pair of interceptions and returned one for a touchdown to pick up a win in a rivalry contest.
Kirkland’s TD return came with 4 minutes remaining, providing the decisive score for the Panthers (4-3, 2-1).
Karon Leverette also came up with a pair of turnovers for the Pascagoula defense, pulling in an interception and recovering a fumble.
“Defensively, it was opportunistic,” Pascagoula coach Lewis Sims said. “We took advantage of some miscues.”
Pearl River Central 28, Long Beach 14: PRC improved to 3-4 overall and 2-1 in Region 4-5A behind a pair of 100-yard rushing performances.
Senior Detrich Spikes ran 21 times for 129 yards and two touchdowns. Ty Herring had 25 carries for 125 yards.
Poplarville 41, Stone High 14: Poplarville (3-4, 2-0) picked up its second consecutive victory to begin Region 7-4A competition. Stone High dropped to 1-5 and 0-2.
Other scores: Northwest Rankin 35, George County 0; East Marion 40, St. Patrick 17.