By David A. Farrell, Item Staff Writer
The Picayune Item
The Bay High Tigers maintained a spotless 8-0 record on Friday night by dispatching the Hornets 44-0. The Tigers were paced by senior running back Justus Williams, who rushed for 147 yards on 13 carries and scored two touchdowns.
The Hornets twice drove deep into Tiger territory, once to the five and another time, on the Hornets’ first possession of the game, to the 15, but the Tiger defense tightened up, and the Hornets were unable to capitalize on the drives.
If they had converted that first drive, they would have led the Tigers.
Williams, midway in first quarter broke four Hornet tackle attempts, and streaked downfield on a 77-yard touchdown dash for the first score of the game.
Williams also scored on a six-yard plunge in the second half.
The loss left the Hornets at 3-6 overall and 1-3 in district 8-4A play as they head into Vancleave next Friday for a chance to get into the playoffs, if they beat Vancleave.
Bay High pushed its perfect record in Region 8-4A to 8-0, 4-0 in district play, as they square off with unbeaten rival Forrest County in Bay St. Louis next Friday to determine whose on top in a tough district.
Said Hornet head coach Chris Teal, “If we beat Vancleave we can take that No. 4 slot. But we have got to get healthy. Bay High pounded us pretty good. We are going to have to be ready to play, and we are playing Vancleave at their place.”
Tiger head coach Jeff Hopgood said he believes the Tiger defense is the best he has ever coached. “They are good, and I want to hand it to my defensive coordinator. We have a big game ahead of us. Forrest County is really good, and we will have our hands full.”
The Honets shut down the vaunted Tiger offense on the Tigers first possession, and then put together a 66-yard drive to the Tiger 15 but were unable to covert a fourth down.
The Tigers took over and three plays later Williams broke the 77-yard dash for a score with 5:53 left in the first period.
Next the Tigers got a safety when the ball flew over punter Cody Mikell’s head and into the end zone where Mikell booted it out of the end zone to give the Tigers 2 points instead of six.
And with only a few seconds left in the first period, Tiger running back Kendall Island ran 4 yards for another score to make it 16-0 at the end of the first period.
Williams got his second TD on a six yard plunge halfway into second-quarter action, and defensive Tiger lineman Tre Acosta blocked a Hornet punt that bounced into the end zone where Acosta pounced on it for a touchdown.
The Hornets then put together a 65-yard drive down to the Tiger 5 yard line, where it sputtered with only 18 seconds left in the first half. The Tigers carried a 30-0 lead into the half-time break.
In the third period, running back Laronne Lewis, Jr., scored on a two-yard plunge with 4:06 left in the third period, and D’quan Lewis scored on an 18-yard dash in the fourth, rounding out the Tiger scoring.
Greene County beat Vancleave Friday night 43-29.
Forrest County AHS beat St. Stanislaus 76-40 Friday night, and the Aggies and Bay High will meet Friday night for the league championship.
Greene County is already assured of third place.
The winner of the Poplarville-Vancleave game will be the fourth and final team to enter the playoffs from this league.
The regular season in Class 4-A ends this week. The class 4-A playoffs being on Nov. 2.
The playoffs in class 6-and 5-A don’t begin until the following week on Nov. 9.