PINE BELT (WDAM) - After losing second half leads for two consecutive weeks, Sumrall High School was determined that a third time would not be the charm Friday.
Quarterback Billy Garrity scored on four, short touchdown runs and threw a scoring pass for a fifth as the Bobcats claimed a 34-20 victory over visiting Lawrence County High School in Region 7-4A play.
"Played pretty (well), and closed it out this time," Sumrall coach Shannon White said. "Hopefully, we've figured out what it takes to win close games."
After evening their region record, Sumrall (5-3, 1-1) will welcome one of the top-ranked teams in the state at 7 p.m. Friday when Poplarville High School comes to town.
The Hornets (7-0, 2-0), ranked 13th in the MaxPreps.com Top 25 rankings, shut out Forrest County Agricultural High School on the road Friday 31-0.
"I think they played Alabama (Saturday)," White said. "We know what kind of team they have.
"But, you know, we spread the ball around a little bit and have some guys who can run the football pretty good, so we'll just have to see what happens."
Friday, Garrity gave Sumrall a 7-0 lead on a 1-yard, but Lawrence County (3-5, 0-2) pulled within 7-6 on a 1-yard run by Jadarrius Grandberry.
Early in the second quarter, Garrity found Dannis Jackson for a 55-yard touchdown and followed shortly after with his second 1-yard TD run to put the Bobcats up 21-6.
The Cougars cut the lead back to 21-13 when Kendarius Feazell returned the ensuing kickoff 75 yards for a touchdown, but Garrity's 12-yard run gave Sumrall a 28-13 halftime lead.
Lawrence County got within 28-20 in the third quarter on 1-yard run by Kylan Cooper, but Garrity scored on a third, 1-yard run to keep the Cougars at bay.
Garrity completed 13 of 21 passes for 210 yards and a touchdown with two interceptions. He rushed for 34 yards on 11 carries.
Jackson had seven catches for 130 yards and a touchdown.
Poplarville 31, Forrest County AHS 0
BROOKLYN _ Quarterback Antonio Barnes threw for one touchdown ran for another as the Hornets remained unbeaten.
Poplarville (7-0, 2-0 Region 7-4A) went up 7-0 in the first quarter on a 49-yard touchdown run by Austin Boton. The Hornets tacked on a safety before Roosevelt Raine scored on a 1-yard run and Bolton added the two-point conversion to take a 17-0 lead at halftime.
Barnes threw a 19-yard scoring pass to Canaan Ray in the third quarter and then capped the scoring with a 15-yard touchdown run in the fourth period.
Barnes completed 4 of 6 passes for 90 yards and a touchdown. Bolton rushed for 134 yards on 17 carries and Raine added 42 yards on 12 carries.
Paytan Graham led the defense with 17 tackles, including eight solo stops.
FCAHS (5-3, 1-1) will travel to Leakesville at 7 p.m. Friday to take on Greene County High School in a region game. The Wildcats (7-1, 1-1) won a four-overtime thriller 56-49 against Purvis High School Friday.
Poplarville will travel to Sumrall High School Friday night. The Bobcats (5-3, 1-1) defeated Lawrence County High School 34-20 Friday.
South Jones 42, Natchez 35
NATCHEZ _ Quarterback John Mitchell threw for three touchdowns and ran for 156 yards and two more scores as the Braves pulled away in the final quarter Friday to pick up the road victory.
The game was tied 7-7 after one quarter before South Jones (6-2, 2-1 Region 3-5A) nudged ahead of the Bulldogs 14-13 at halftime. Natchez (5-2, 1-2) went up 21-14 after three quarters, but the Braves outscored the Bulldogs 28-14 in the final 12 minutes.
Mitchell, who completed 10 of 21 passes for 202 yards, connected with Shiwon Lovett for all three passing scores. Lovett caught four passes for 130 yards.
Ricky Boleware ran for 88 yards on 19 carries and Bryson Sumrall returned a fumble 55 yards for a touchdown.
Jason Jerrell led the South Jones' defense with 14 tackles.
The Braves host North Pike High School at 7 p.m. Friday in Region 3-5A play. The Jaguars (5-2, 1-2) dropped a 27-15 decision to West Jones Friday.
Tylertown 20, Columbia 20
TYLERTOWN _ Ty James scored on pair of short touchdown runs as the Chiefs held off the Wildcats Friday in Region 8-3A play.
After Jamison Kelly had scored on a 7-yard run to give Columbia (3-4, 1-1) a 13-8 lead, Da'Bryan Magee threw a 30-yard scoring pass to Kenyon Jefferson to put Tylertown ahead for good.
The Wildcats will travel to Jefferson Davis County High School at 7 p.m. Friday. The Jaguars defeated West Marion High School 41-0 Friday.
Richton 34, St. Patrick 28
BILOXI _ Daylan Jones ran for 261 yards and three touchdowns on 19 carries Friday as the Rebels rallied to snap a four-game losing streak.
Richton (2-6, 1-1 Region 8-2A) fell behind 21-12 to the Fighting Irish (2-6, 0-2) in the first quarter and trailed by a point at halftime and two points heading into the final quarter. But the Rebels scored a touchdown in the fourth quarter and held St. Patrick scoreless to come up with the win.
Quarterback Dylan Favre completed 4 of 11 passes for 50 yards and a touchdown. He also ran for 41 yards on 13 carries and ran in a pair of two-point conversions.
D.D. Griffin rushed twice for 58 yards and caught two passes for 30 yards and a touchdown.
The Rebels will travel to Collins at 7 p.m. Friday for a region contest. The Tigers (6-2, 1-0) defeated North Forrest High School 35-20 Friday.
Parklane Academy 41, Presbyterian Christian School 40
McCOMB _ A frantic Bobcat rally in the final minutes came up just short Friday when a potential, game-winning two-point conversion attempt came up short on the final play of the game and no time on the clock.
Running back Sheldon James cracked the 1,000-yard mark on the season after running for 213 yards and two touchdowns on 18 carries. James was one of three Bobcats to crack the 100-yard rushing plateau in the game.
PCS (5-3, 1-2 District 1-AAAA), which has lost three of its last four games, was tied 7-7 with the Pioneers (8-0, 2-0) after one quarter and 14-14 at halftime and tailed 28-27 heading into the final quarter.
The Bobcats trailed 41-27 with less than 3 minutes to play, but scored two touchdowns in the waning minutes to give themselves a chance to win.
Quarterback Bandon Thornton completed 6 of 13 passes for 106 yards and two touchdowns and also rushed for 104 yards and a touchdown. Running back Alden Rhian had 101 yards and a touchdown on 10 carries and caught two passes for 33 yards.
Eric Robinson caught two passes for 58 yards and a touchdown and ran for 27 yards on eight carries before being injured. Barrett Sloaker caught a 14-yard touchdown pass.
The Bobcats will host Jackson Academy at 7 p.m. Friday in a key 1-AAAA contest. The Raiders (6-1, 1-1) beat Madison-Ridgeland Academy 30-7 Friday.
Columbia Academy 32, Sylva-Bay Academy 8
COLUMBIA _ Ras Pace threw a pair of touchdowns and Drew Havard ran for a score and caught a pass for another as the Cougars snapped a four-game losing streak Friday.
Columbia Academy (3-5) led after one quarter 24-0 and 32-0 at halftime.
Havard had 32 yards and a score on two carries and caught a 30-yard touchdown pass. He also ran for three-, two-point conversions.
Rilee Stuart rushed for 84 yards and a touchdown on six carries and also ran for a two-point conversion.
Pace completed 3 of 6 passes for 39 yards, including the scoring toss to Havard and a 5-yard touchdown pass to Harrison Hartzog.
The Cougars' defense came up with 19 tackles for loss, including four sacks and took the ball away twice on a fumble and interception.
Columbia Academy will host Wayne Academy in a District 4-AAA game at 7 p.m. Friday. The Jaguars (4-4, 1-0) lost 51-0 to Lamar High School Friday.
Sylva-Bay (1-7, 0-2) will host Ben's Ford Christian Academy in a District 4-AA contest at 7 p.m. Friday. The Eagles (1-7, 0-2) lost 26-6 to Newton County Academy Friday.