PINE BELT (WDAM) - For the first time, Columbia Academy faced off with one of Marion County's high school football teams Friday night.
Those in attendance certainly got their money's worth.
The teams combined for 98 points, as West Marion High School built a large lead and then held off the visiting Cougars 58-40.
"I was very proud of our guys," West Marion coach Brad Duncan said. "They kind of understood the importance of (the game), the historic nature of it. The academy playing a public school in the county, that's never happened. We had a great crowd, a great atmosphere and I think it's something people will remember for a long time."
Columbia Academy (2-4) led 16-14 after one quarter, but the Trojans (2-4) outscored the Cougars 30-0 in the second quarter to take a 44-16 halftime lead.
"Everywhere you looked, young guys were stepping up and making plays," Duncan said. "They're growing up."
West Marion was without senior running back Charles Lewis, who suffered a high ankle sprain in the previous week's win over Raleigh.
But a trio of underclassmen contributed to the offensive firepower that carried the Trojans to their second, consecutive victory.
Sophomore quarterback Jeremiah Holmes completed 14 of 19 passes for 182 yards and two touchdowns. Holmes also ran for 89 yards and a touchdown on 16 carries and added a two-point conversion run for good measure.
Sophomore running back Adryane James had 98 yards and two touchdowns on 19 carries and added a 58-yard kickoff return for a score.
Freshman receiver Qavonte Swanigan had six catches for 67 yards and a touchdown.
Upperclassmen also made an impact. Senior receiver Cyrus Thompson had four catches for 107 yards and a touchdown as well as a two-point conversion run and junior running back Kentarious Cotton added 15 yards rushing and a touchdown on five carries.
The defense chipped in with a 100-yard interception return by junior Dontavious Mcgowan.
Columbia Academy showed plenty of offensive firepower.
Sophomore quarterback Ras Pace completed 20 of 38 passes for 275 yards and three touchdowns with two interceptions. He also ran for eight yards and touchdown on six carries and added a two-point conversion run.
Junior Drew Havard ran for 124 yards on 17 carries and senior Jake Brewer plowed his way for 43 yards and a touchdown on five carries while adding a pair of two-point conversion runs.
Sophomore receiver Riles Stuart grabbed three passes for 106 yards and a touchdown, senior tight end Owen Harper had five catches for 49 yards and a score as well as a two-point conversion and senior receiver Aaron Thomas had a game-high seven receptions for 84 yards and a touchdown.
Columbia Academy will visit Simpson County Academy at 7 p.m. Friday. The Cougars-to-the-north (3-3) topped East Rankin Academy Friday 49-20.
West Marion will open Region 8-3A play by visiting Seminary High School at 7 p.m. Friday. The Bulldogs dropped a 12-6 decision to Purvis High School Friday.
"That's going to be something, I think," Duncan said of the meeting with the Bulldogs. "If you check the history of the game, it's usually been nothing but a nail-biter, and I'm not expecting anything different Friday."
Pass Christian 34, Sumrall 29
The Pirates turned the tables on the Bobcats in the second half Friday, erasing a 10-point halftime deficit and scoring the game-winning touchdown with about two minutes to play.
"We were up 23-13 at the half, and it was a tale of two halves," Sumrall coach Shannon White said. "The second half was all them."
Pass Christian took a 6-0 lead on a touchdown run, but junior quarterback Billy Garrity and junior receiver Dannis Jackson hooked up on a 25-yard pass to tie the game.
Pass Christian junior running back Tionne Frost scored the first of his three touchdowns on a 6-yard run, but sophomore Gabriel Cocroft scored on a 2-yard run as Sumrall tied the game again.
The Bobcats (4-2) went ahead 16-13 on senior Hunter Hanberry's 26-yard field goal and pushed the lead to 23-13 on the first of senior Derrick Lemieux's two touchdown runs, a 4-yarder that gave Sumrall its halftime edge.
Frost scored on runs of 55 yards and 2 yards in the third quarter to push Pass Christian (2-3) to a 27-23 lead before Lemieux's 2-yard run with about 8 minutes left in the game had Sumrall up 29-27.
But the Pirates scored on a rushing touchdown with about 2 minutes to play to snap the Bobcats' four-game winning streak.
"Offensively, we had good first half, I mean really, really good, and in the second half, we just could not generate enough," White said. "We had some plays available to us, and we just didn't execute. We had a hard time stopping them and we couldn't get going.
"We didn't play the same two halves, and I didn't see it coming. I thought at halftime, our guys were ready to go, but I don't know. You have to take control of the game when you see the tide turning."
Frost rushed for 160 yards and three touchdowns on 24 carries and caught four passes for 70 yards to pace the Pirates. Junior Joshua Tinson backed Frost with 30 yards and a touchdown on five carries.
Sophomore quarterback Dustin Allison completed 12 of 17 passes for 173 yards with two interceptions, while junior Andrew Moffett caught three passes for 71 yards.
Garrity completed 18 of 36 passes for 280 yards and a touchdown with an interception. Jackson hauled in six passes for 114 yards.
Cocroft topped Sumrall in rushing with 39 yards on four carries, while added Garrity 28 yards on six carries and Lemieux 27 yards on seven carries.
Sumrall will travel cross-county to visit Purvis High School at 7 p.m. Friday in the Region 7-4A opener for both schools. The Tornadoes (2-3) topped Seminary High School 12-7 Friday.
"Maybe more so than most years, Purvis looks like Purvis to me," White said. "They've still got the big linemen, very physical, well-coached. They don't make a lot of mistakes. The quarterback's playing better and you've got a top receiver out there in (C.J.) Bolar.
"They've got a good team. They really do. They just look like Purvis to me. I watched them (Saturday) morning for a long time, and it's like same song, second verse."
Purvis 12, Seminary 6
The Tornadoes scored a fourth-quarter touchdown to hold off the Bulldogs Friday night.
After a scoreless first half, the game was tied 6-6 after three quarters.
Sophomore running back Jordan Barrett rushed for 111 yards and a touchdown on 19 carries for Seminary (3-3). Junior running back Dalvon Martin added 73 yards rushing on 10 carries.
Purvis (2-3) will open Region 7-4A play at 7 p.m. Friday hosting Sumrall High School. The Bobcats (4-2) dropped a 34-29 decision Friday to Pass Christian High School.
Seminary will host West Marion High School in the Region 8-3A opener for both schools. The Trojans (2-4) downed Columbia Academy 58-40 Friday.
Jefferson Davis County 36, Franklin County 0
Senior Malik Shorts scored on a 52-yard run and a 65-yard punt return to pace the Jaguars.
Jefferson Davis County (5-1) led 14-0 after one quarter and 36-0 at halftime.
Senior split end Ronald Baker opened the scoring, hauling in a 50-yard scoring pass from sophomore quarterback Lyric Hall.
Shorts made it 14-0 with his punt return and then put the Jaguars up 21-0 when he broke his long run.
After a fumble recovery, sophomore Kyser Booth scored on a 5-yard run and the Jaguars added a safety to wrap up the scoring.
Jefferson Davis County opens Region 8-3A play at 7 p.m. Friday when it hosts Tylertown High School. The Chiefs (3-3) topped Franklinton High School 19-18 Friday.
Hazlehurst 6, Forrest County AHS 0
The Indians connected on just one pass all Friday night, but the 68-yarder in the first quarter from senior Quamead Stewart to senior Julius Brown stood up as the game's only score.
The Aggies (4-2) held Hazlehurst (4-2) to 265 yards total offense, but couldn't manage to get on the scoreboard themselves.
FCAHS will open Region 7-4A play at 7 p.m. Friday when the Aggies welcome Lawrence County High School. The Cougars dropped a 32-12 decision to Collins High School Friday.
Greene County 13, Moss Point 7
The Wildcats (6-0) scored twice in the first half and then held off the Tigers (1-5) to finish their non-region schedule unbeaten.
Greene County opens Region 7-4A play by travelling to Poplarville High School at 7 p.m. Friday. The Hornets (5-0) had an open date last week.
Laurel 47, South Jones 8
Sophomore Xavier Evans and junior Sinclair Ulmer each threw for two touchdowns and senior Jaques Bester ran for two more as the Golden Tornadoes rolled past the Braves in the Region 3-5A opener for both teams.
South Jones (4-2, 0-1) scored first, taking an 8-0 lead on a 4-yard run by junior quarterback John Mitchell and a two-point conversion run by senior Kameron Flowers.
But it was all Laurel (3-2, 1-0) after that, as the Golden Tornadoes turned three of the Braves' four turnovers into touchdowns.
Ulmer found senior Brandon Gordon with a 28-yard touchdown pass, and after a Laurel interception, Bester scored on a 5-yard run to put the Golden Tornadoes ahead 12-8 early in the second quarter.
Sinclair Ulmer followed with a 30-yard touchdown pass to senior Kobie Ulmer, and after the Golden Tornadoes recovered a fumble, senior Juan Nelson caught a 5-yard scoring pass from Evans to give Laurel a 27-8 halftime lead.
Gordon caught his second touchdown of the day, a 60-yarder from Evans, and Bester scored on a 2-yard run for Laurel in the third quarter and sophomore defensive lineman Ryan Fuller returned a fumble 30 yards for a touchdown to round out the scoring.
Sinclair Ulmer (6 of 12 for 103 yards) and Evans (3 of 8 for 65 yards) combined to throw for 168 yards and four touchdowns. Junior Zias Perryman rushed for 64 yards on 14 carries and Bester added 33 yards on four carries.
Kobie Ulmer's one catch went for a touchdown, while Nelson caught three balls for 33 yards and a score.
Senior middle linebacker Jaylan Smith and junior cornerback Levi Walker each had eight solo tackles for Laurel.
Senior running back Ricky Boleware led South Jones with 77 yards on 19 carries. Mitchell added 57 yards rushing on 15 carries, but completed just 3 of 12 passes for 25 yards.
Laurel will visit Brookhaven High School in a key region contest at 7 p.m. Friday. The Panthers (4-1, 1-0) opened 3-5A play Friday with a 49-12 win over North Pike High School.
South Jones will host Forest Hill High School at 7 p.m. Friday. The Patriots (1-4, 0-1) dropped a 26-0 decision to West Jones High School Friday in the 3-5A opener for both schools.
Pearl 14, Petal 3
The Panthers took the state's top-rated team down to the wire Friday, but came up short in the end.
Senior Blake Craig's 26-yard field goal in the third quarter gave Petal (2-3, 0-1 Region 3-6A) a 3-0 in the third quarter, but the Pirates (6-0, 1-0) got a 4-yard touchdown run from senior Johnny Winston to take a 7-3 lead heading into the final period.
Senior quarterback Jake Smithart connected with senior Dylan Kelly on a 29-yard scoring pass late in the fourth quarter to ice the game for the Pirates.
Winston rushed for 84 yards on 24 carries for Pearl, while Smithart completed 13 of 24 passes for 162 yards and a touchdown with an interception. Kelly caught three passes for 31 yards.
Petal will visit archrival Oak Grove High School at 7 p.m. Friday. The Warriors (4-1, 1-0) downed George County High School Friday 17-7 in Lucedale in the region opener for both schools.
Picayune 30, Wayne County 22
Senior running back Shaun Anderson ran for 207 yards and a touchdown on 33 carries and senior running back V.J. Holt added 48 yards and two more scores on five carries to power the Maroon Tide Friday.
Wayne County (2-3, 0-1 Region 4-5A) led 14-13 at halftime, but the Tide (4-1, 1-0) outscored the War Eagles 14-0 in the third quarter.
Senior quarterback Zabryan Jackson rushed for 114 yards on 15 carries and senior running back Perionta Norsworthy ran for 70 yards and a touchdown on 12 carries for the War Eagles. Junior defensive tackle Braxton Lee scored a defensive touchdown for Wayne County.
Neither teams' quarterback threw the ball well. Jackson finished 2 of 6 for 32 yards and senior Tyler Penton completed 2 of 8 passes for 19 yards for Picayune.
Wayne County will visit Pearl River Central High School at 7 p.m. Friday for a region game. The Blue Devils (0-5, 0-1) dropped their 4-5A opener 35-20 to Long Beach High School Friday.
Picayune will host West Harrison High School at 7 pm. Friday in region play. The Hurricanes (1-4, 0-1) lost their 4-5A opener 45-26 to Stone High School.
East Marion 48, Salem 8
Sophomore quarterback Devin Daniels rushed for 143 yards on just three carries, including a 98-yard touchdown run, as the Eagles rolled in their Region 4-1A opener.
Daniels, who finished with two rushing touchdowns, attempted just four passes against the Wildcats (0-6, 0-1), with his lone completion going for a 28-yard scoring pass to junior Darrin Haines.
Senior running back Jarveon Howard ran for 92 yards and two touchdowns on nine carries and added six, two-point conversion runs for East Marion (3-2, 1-0). Howard also returned an interception 24 yards for a score.
Salem scored in the final period on a Dylan Rushing run with Daquarius Bridges adding a two-point conversion run.
East Marion will host Lumberton High School at 7 p.m. Friday. The Panthers opened 4-1A play with a 44-10 win over Mount Olive High School Friday.