D'IBERVILLE-- Running back Deon Cole showed D'Iberville why Gulfport's offense is built around him.
The senior rushed for 129 yards and scored four touchdowns as the second-ranked Admirals prevailed 35-17 on Friday night at Warriors Stadium.
Gulfport (7-2, 5-0) remained tied atop the Region 4-6A standings with top-ranked Ocean Springs (8-1, 5-0). The Admirals host Ocean Springs next week for the Region 4-6A championship at Milner Stadium.
Cole, who also had a 98-yard interception return for a touchdown, credited the Admirals' team for his success. He ran for three scores.
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"The offensive line did a great job," Cole said. "They're like my family. We had a great offseason and everyone came together as a team."
Izayiah Jacob returns opening kickoff 75 yards for touchdowns as Warriors (5-5, 3-2) led 7-0 10 seconds into the game. He took the kick and raced untouched to the end zone.
Three minutes later, Cole's 10-yard TD run tied the game at 7-7.
Warriors quarterback Jacquelle Green appeared to score on a five yard touchdown run. But the referees ruled the ball came out before Green crossed the goal line. Gulfport recovered in the end zone for a touchback.
Late in the first quarter, D'Iberville had another chance to break a 7-7 tie, but the Warriors at the Admirals' 15. Ty Powell returned the fumble 60 yards to the Warriors' 40.
Gulfport converted the miscue into Lazarro Shugart's 10-yard TD run for a 14-7 lead midway in the second quarter.
The Warriors had a third chance to tie the game with 40 seconds left before halftime, but Princeton Fells' interception at the goal line preserved Gulfport's seven-point lead at halftime.
Cory Ladner's 35 yard field goal cut the Admirals lead to 14-10 with 6:57 left in the third quarter.
Forty seconds later, Cole's 75 yard TD run extended the Admirals' lead to 21-10 after three quarters.
Cole's six-yard TD run with 7:13 left delivered the knockout punch and 28-10 lead.
Green's 14 yard TD run with 2:58 left trimmed the deficit to 28-17.
Cole's 98 yard interception return with 1:22 left closed the game's scoring. Cole also added a second interception in the closing seconds.
"I can't say enough about the chemistry of this team," Gulfport coach Eddie Pierce said. "They feed off each other and don't care who scores. Cole and Shugart are a great combination."