High School Sports

Harrison Central, McComb face off in shootout

Harrison Central High School running back Keon Moore
Harrison Central High School running back Keon Moore jcfitzhugh@sunherald.com file

Revenge was certainly a theme Friday night across South Mississippi gridirons. Harrison Central was one of a handful of schools that turned the tables on a 2015 defeat.

The Red Rebels hit the road Friday to open the season at McComb after an early bye week and returned to the Coast with a 53-40 victory.

“I expected a shootout,” HCHS coach Casey Cain said. “I really did. They have four or five of the best athletes that you’ll ever see, but we were able to run the football tonight and that made the difference.

“They couldn’t stop our running game and we forced a couple of key turnovers.”

Quarterback Tavis Williams had quite the night for Harrison Central (1-0). The senior showed why he’s one of the top quarterbacks in the state, throwing three touchdowns and rushing for another long one.

“He played great,” Cain said. “He looked like a veteran back there. The game came real easy to him. Him and Keon had big nights. Heck of a one-two punch.”

Keon and Austin Gray also had touchdown runs.

Reliable receiver

Heading into the season, Cain wondered who might step up as a reliable receiver for Williams.

Chase Jones certainly stood tall Friday for HCHS. The 6-foot-4 junior tight end caught all three of Williams touchdown passes.

“He gave us a really big presence over the middle with play action,” Cain said.

Defensive back Cortland Gayten capped Harrison Central’s scoring with a pick-six.

The Red Rebels host Moss Point next Friday.

Patrick Ochs: 228-896-2321, @PatrickOchs