The Pass Christian football team took a solid hold on first place in Region 8-4A after picking up a crucial 34-28 victory at Vancleave Friday night.
The Pirates are now 6-2 overall and 2-0 in region play under first-year head coach Blake Pennock.
“We’re definitely getting better,” Pennock said. “We’ve come leaps and bounds as a defense. Points-wise, it didn’t show up, but we played extremely well on defense. We were able to do a couple of things to close the game.”
Pass Christian senior quarterback Dustin Allison had another nice night throwing the football, connecting on touchdown passes of 12 and 42 yards. He also had a 54-yard touchdown run that gave Pass Christian a 27-7 lead in the third quarter.
The Pirates have relied on Allison’s strong right arm for much of the season, but they took to the ground for their first two touchdowns of the game. Huu Nguyen punched it from 1 yard out to tie the game at 7-7 to end the first quarter and a 22-yard touchdown on a reverse by Kam White handed the Pirates the 14-7 lead at halftime.
“Offensively, the running game has really come on,” Pennock said. “Early on (in the season), we were struggling with what we were doing up front. The last several weeks, we’ve been excellent running the football.”
Allison completed 10 of 13 passes for 200 yards and two touchdowns. He also had eight carries for 84 yards and a TD.
Andrew Moffet was Allison’s top target, catching five passes for 172 yards and a TD.
Nguyen carried 14 times for 82 yards and one touchdown.
Vancleave (4-4, 1-1) put in a valiant effort behind senior quarterback Christian Kell, who had a hand in three touchdowns.
Kell, who had 14 carries for 118 yards, had one touchdown pass, a 30-yard toss to Devon Hand, and scoring runs of 23 and 60 yards. He finished with 156 yards passing, completing 12 of 27 attempts.
Chase Aubry also had a 1-yard touchdown run to begin the scoring for Vancleave.
Pass Christian, which has won three consecutive games, next travels to Moss Point after showing it could close out a key game on the road Friday night.
“I couldn’t be happier,” Pennock said. “It’s going to be a tough region. There are a lot of teams that are fairly matched up. If you look at all the games other than our (42-14 win over Bay High) they’ve all been games decided by one possession. Anybody can win on any given night.”
St. Stanislaus 41, South Plaquemines 6: St. Stanislaus senior quarterback Max Favre completed 21 of 26 passes for 301 yards and a whopping six touchdowns as the Rockachaws improved to 5-3 overall in a non-region contest.
Bradley Darby caught seven passes for 132 yards and a TD. SSC senior Dallas Payne had another big game, catching six passes for 110 yards and three touchdowns.
Ocean Springs 21, West Harrison 14: Ocean Springs senior quarterback Blake Noblin completed 11 of 17 passes for 184 yards and two touchdowns as the Greyhounds improved to 4-4 and 3-1. Noblin also ran 11 times for 61 yards and a touchdown.
Senior running back Jakari Smith led the Greyhounds on the ground with 22 carries for 125 yards.
Brady Brune had a pair of catches for 68 yards and a touchdown. Evan McNally also caught four passes for 51 yards and a TD.
Picayune 64, Long Beach 0: Senior running back Cam Thomas ran 25 times for 199 yards and four touchdowns as Picayune easily improved to 8-0 and 4-0 in Region 4-6A.
Blake Mitchell, Jalen Hall and Kade Turnage also got in the end zone for the Maroon Tide.
Sebastopol 20, Resurrection 17: Sebastopol’s Jaden Mann had a rushing touchdown with less than a minute remaining to hand Resurrection (7-1, 5-1) its first loss of the season. Sebastopol improved to 5-3 and 3-2.
George County 21, Pearl 14: Sophomore running back Trent Howell ran for a pair of touchdowns to spark the Rebels to an upset victory over Pearl in Lucedale.
George County’s first score of the night was a 94-yard touchdown toss from M.J. Daniels to Marquez Dortch.
George County improved to 5-3 and 2-2 in Region 3-6A while Pearl dropped to 5-3 and 2-2.
D’Iberville 37, Hancock 9: Senior athlete Jaden Walley ran 10 times for 103 yards as the Warriors had little trouble improving to 7-1 overall and 4-0 in Region 4-6A.
Senior Cameron Fairley also had a nice night toting the ball for D’Iberville, carrying 13 times for 85 yards.
D’Iberville junior quarterback Dwight Williams completed eight of nine passes for 144 yards.
Hancock junior quarterback Sema’J Robertson had 16 carries for 70 yards.
Biloxi 28, St. Martin 14: Biloxi junior Elijah Sabbatini ran for a pair of 30-yard touchdowns in the fourth quarter to close the victory for the Indians, who improved to 6-2 overall and 2-2 in Region 4-6A.
K.K. Kendrick and Chad O’Neal also had rushing scores for Biloxi.
East Central 20, Gautier 10: Senior quarterback Will Young had a 1-yard touchdown run and completed a 65-yard touchdown pass to Cade Fant to lead the Hornets (5-3, 2-2).
In the second quarter, senior running back Teshun McGee ran 68 yards for a TD.
East Central senior running back Dylan Grinsteinner became the third player in East Central history to rush for 3,000 career yards.
Poplarville 61, Purvis 0: The Hornets (4-4, 3-0) are now tied with Greene County (5-3, 3-0) for first place in Region 7-4A after scoring on every possession Friday night at Purvis.
Greg Swann ran for three touchdowns for Poplarville and senior Chase Shears had touchdown runs of 5 and 66 yards.
Senior quarterback Blaise Breerwood contributed a touchdown toss and a touchdown run.
Moss Point 49, Bay High 41: Bay High was stopped on the Moss Point 13-yard-line with about 2 minutes remaining to finish off the shootout.
Moss Point improved to 2-6 and 2-1 in Region 8-4A while Bay High dropped to 5-3 and 0-3.
Other scores: Greene County 20, Stone High 0; Hattiesburg 35, Pearl River Central 35; Wayne County 55, Pascagoula 30; Perry Central 45, St. Patrick 7.