The Pascagoula Panthers couldn’t overcome six turnovers Friday night, dropping their second game of the early season 20-7 to the Ocean Springs Greyhounds.
The Panthers moved the ball throughout the night, gaining 326 yards against the Greyhounds, but turned the ball over twice on fumbles and four times on interceptions, with Aaron Stovall picking off two Panther passes. The Panthers were also flagged 12 times for 125 yards, including three pass interference penalties, one of which led to the Greyhounds opening touchdown of the second half.
“We have to execute,” said Panthers coach Lewis Sims, who said Pascagoula’s problems were not on the other team, but were with the Panthers beating themselves. “We have to focus on us.”
Lewis said he expects Pascagoula to rebound after dropping to 0-2. He noted there were nine games left on the Panthers regular-season schedule and the real season — region play — does not start until later.
“We have good leaders on the team,” he said. “We have a great group of coaches. We’re tough. We’re resilient.”
For Greyhounds coach Ryan Ross, the win marks a good turnaround from last week’s 45-10 loss to top-ranked Brandon.
“We didn’t have the mistakes we had last week,” Ross said. “We didn’t make as many mistakes and if we keep cutting down on the mistakes, we have a chance.”
After being blown out by Brandon last week, Ross said it was good to get a win against a program like Pascagoula. Still, he said it was too early to know what the game would do to his team’s makeup.’
“We don’t know yet,” he said. “We don’t have the experience on this team to know. We have to go to work and keep cutting down on our mistakes.”
The Greyhounds took a 6-0 lead into the half off the strength of two field goals, one a 48-yarder by Ashton Garner in the first quarter to open the scoring. Ocean Springs (1-1) put the game away with a pair of touchdowns in the second half.
The Greyhounds took the opening kickoff 68 yards in six plays —aided by a pass interference and 15-yard facemask call against the Panthers defense. Austin Williams wrestled away a Malcom Magee 28-yard pass in the endzone for the first touchdown of the night.
Magee would put Ocean Springs up 20-0 early in the fourth quarter on a 13-yard run, completing a drive started by Ocean Springs’ third pick of a Pascagoula pass.
Javarous Walker’s 1-yard plunge with 5:37 left in the game put Pascagoula on the scoreboard.
In addition to turning the ball over six times, Pascagoula turned the ball over on downs inside the Greyhounds 20 twice and missed a field goal.
Daveaunce Gaines paced a grinding Ocean Springs running game with 56 yards on 11 carries.
Walker finished with 94 yards on 14 carries. Trey Abney added 60 yards on 10 carries for the Panthers.