High School Sports

Make it 20: Gulfport topples Harrison Central to continue dominant region run

Gulfport head coach John Archie’s team is 6-2 overall and 4-0 in Region 4-6A after Friday night’s win over Harrison Central.
Gulfport head coach John Archie’s team is 6-2 overall and 4-0 in Region 4-6A after Friday night’s win over Harrison Central. jcfitzhugh@sunherald.com

The Gulfport Admirals are determined to not give up their firm grasp on Region 4-6A.

The Gulfport High School football team won its third consecutive game over rival Harrison Central and stretched its Region 4-6A winning streak to 20 games Friday night on the road.

Gulfport (6-2, 4-0) capitalized on three Harrison Central turnovers and the Admirals’ offense executed on a balanced eight-play drive for another score in their 23-7 win over the Red Rebels.

The Red Rebels’ defense didn’t allow the visitors a first down on their first two possessions, but after the first fumble things started going the Admirals’ way.

“It’s kind of been our motto this year,” Admirals coach John Archie said. “We’ve got to fight through adversity and be resilient, and we never gave up. I think our guys gave one hundred percent effort the whole night. We stuck to our game plan and came out on top.”

The Admirals scored off of two first-half fumbles. After the Red Rebels (3-5, 1-3) denied the Admirals a first down on their second possession and sacked Admirals quarterback Cade Crosby for a 6-yard loss, the Red Rebels fumbled on their ensuing snap from scrimmage and Gulfport recovered.

Gulfport advanced the ball from their own 41 yard line, and facing fourth-and-17 for a first down, Tres Ladner kicked a 34-yard field goal to open the game’s scoring on the first play of the second quarter.

On Gulfport’s next possession, Harrison Central’s defense forced a fourth-and-19; Ladner booted a 41-yard punt and the Red Rebels fumbled at their own 8 yard line, allowing Gulfport to take over there.

Tyran Gable carried for 7 yards on second down to the one yard line, and Crosby carried it in for the score on the next snap.

Leading 10-0 at halftime, Gulfport started the second half at their own 29 yard line, and Crosby led the Admirals 71 yards down field, handing off to Tyran Gable four times for 25 yards and completing three of four passes of 20, 6 and 20 yards to Tommie Johnson, the latter for a touchdown.

The Red Rebels attempted a pass on fourth-and-goal at the Gulfport 4 yard line on their next possession, and Gulfport’s senior cornerback Jamison Lindsey intercepted for a 100-yard pick-6 to close out Gulfport’s scoring after the PAT kick.

“We wanted to get out of our way and stop making mistakes,” said Archie of the Admirals’ second half play. “We’ve got a long ways to go. We don’t feel we’ve played our best ball yet, and we’re going to keep on working and get ready for D’Iberville next week.”

D’Iberville, which is 7-1 overall and 4-0 in Region 4-6A after a 37-9 win over Hancock, appears to be the biggest threat to end Gulfport’s region winning streak this season.

Turner scored Harrison Central’s only touchdown on a 28-yard run, scrambling after he couldn’t find an open receiver.

“That dropped punt in the first half killed us,” Red Rebels coach Casey Cain said. “We’ve got to find a way to move the ball on offense. We’re playing too many plays on defense. We’re a young football team, but we’ve got to quit making excuses about that. We need to go back to work on Monday and find a way.”

Crosby completed nine of eighteen passes for 126 yards and a touchdown for Gulfport. He also rushed for a touchdown.

Jaeden McClaiin led Harrison Central with 123 rushing yards on 26 carries.