GULFPORT_ For the first time since 1998, the Hattiesburg High School football team finished a regular season unbeaten. .
Pretty impressive, yes?
“We talked about it for a minute, maybe,” HHS coach Tony Vance said. “We’re not really thinking about that too much.
“Our focus, like it has been every week, is to be 1-0 in every game we play, and that’s not going to change, especially now.”
Especially after Friday, when the Tigers closed the book on the regular season, wrapping up an 11-0 record with a 62-20 victory at West Harrison High School in Gulfport.
Now, Hattiesburg looks ahead to the Class 5A playoffs. As the No. 1 seed from Region 4-5A with a unblemished 7-0 record, the Tigers will host South Jones High School at 7 p.m. Friday.
The Braves (8-4) made their first postseason in Coach Cory Reynolds’ four-year tenure by thwacking Jackson Wingfield High School 57-22 Friday night in Ellisville.
Friday night, the Tigers jumped out early and stayed there throughout. Junior quarterback Landon Rascoe made his first career start against the Hurricanes (1-11, 0-7 Region 4-5A) and completed 9-of-16 passes for 222 yards, including a 41-yard touchdown pass to senior Raheem Willis.
HHS ran for 336 yards, and finished with 554 yards total offense.
Junior Jarod Conner, who has not played much quarterback at all the past two weeks, played none Friday. Instead, he rushed for 100 yards on eight carries and scored on runs of 2 yards and 1 yard.
HHS led 27-6 after one quarter on senior Fabrian Franklin’s 21-yard run, senior Dexter Jordan’s 20-yard fumble return, junior Drexlan Allen’s 10-yard run and Conner’s first TD run. West Harrison scored on a Cooper Martin 11-yard run.
The Hurricanes cut the lead to 27-13 on Daylan Anderson’s 7-yard run, but Rascoe found Willis, Conner scored again, and senior D’Andre Humbles returned a punt 88 yards for a touchdown that left the Tigers ahead 48-13 after three quarters.
Joseph Miller scored on a 9-yard run for West Harrison early in the fourth quarter, but Hattiesburg scored the last two touchdowns, the first when Jordan caught a 16-yard pass from senior Raykill Duckworth and the second when Chance Duckworth ran 11 yards for the game’s final score.
Franklin gained 63 yards on six carries. Humbles caught two passes for 55 yards, Willis had three catches for 55 yards and junior Darius Ruffin had two catches for 58 yards.
Jefferson Davis County 79, St. Andrew’s Episcopal 38
BASSFIELD _ The Jaguars turned an 11-point halftime lead into a runaway victory Friday night by outscoring the Saints 31-0 in the third quarter of their first-round Class 3A playoff game.
Six different Jefferson Davis County players ran for a score, including five touchdown runs of 45 yards or longer, sophomore Lyric Hall threw for a pair of touchdowns and the Jaguars’ defense scored on an interception and a fumble return.
The Saints (5-7) rushed for just 4 yards, but threw for 382 yards against the Jaguars (11-1).
Jefferson Davis led 20-0 after James Washington opened the scoring with a 75-yard touchdown run, Darryl Sims returned a fumble 25 yards for a score and Hall found Frank McAfee with a 29-yard touchdown pass.
The Saints (5-7) closed to six points by the end of the first quarter on a pair of junior quarterback Holland Townes’ touchdown passes to senior Spencer Wallace.
Junior Jafharis Harris ripped off an 80-yard score in the second quarter for Jefferson Davis, while senior Banks Tolley booted a 41-yard field goal for St. Andrew’s to make the score 28-17.
The teams swapped touchdowns from there until the halftime break with JDC holding a 42-31 lead. Senior Demazie Mikell scored on 65-yard run and sophomore Kyser Booth added a 5-yard touchdown run, while Townes completed touchdown passes of 71 yards and 50 yards to Townes.
The third quarter was all JDC. Mikell scored on an 80-yard run, junior Zion Hathorn returned an interception 20 yards for a touchdown and Hall found junior tight end Rhodrick Williams with a 64-yard touchdown pass.
When senior Terry Bryant ripped off a 38-yard scoring run, the Jaguars led 73-31 after three quarters.
Senior Jevonta Milton scored on a 45-yard run and St. Andrew’s wrapped up the scoring on a 7-yard pass from junior back-up quarterback Nathan Barham to senior Wade Montjoy.
Townes completed 16-of-34 passes for 303 yards and four touchdowns with an interception. Tolley had four catches for 198 yards and two scores, while Wallace had four catches for 60 yards and two touchdowns. Barham had five catches for five catches for 57 yards.
The Jaguars got two-point conversion runs from Bryant and Washington, and Booth and McKines scored twice on conversion runs.
JDC will host Kemper County High School at 7 p.m. Friday in a second-round game in Bassfield. The Wildcats (3-8), the second seed out of Region 5-3A, defeated Franklin County High School 36-9 Friday.
Lumberton 52, Salem 0
LUMBERTON _ Freshman running back Robert Henry ran for 129 yards and two touchdowns on just 10 carries and the defense scored twice as the Panthers wrapped up an undefeated region slate.
Lumberton (9-2, 6-0 Region 4-1) led the Wildcats (0-11. 0-6) after one quarter 16-0 and at halftime 22-0 on its way to its fourth, consecutive victory.
Junior quarterback Jared Tribett completed 7-of-13 passes for 104 yards and a touchdown. Senior Donnell Buckner caught three passes for 61 yards and a touchdown and also caught a two-point conversion pass.
Junior Davion Edwards scored on a 52-yard touchdown run, while senior Krishaun Fairley ran for 15 yards and touchdown on three carries.
Sophomore defensive back Jayson Buckley returned an interception and senior linebacker Jaden Galloway returned a fumble for a score.
Henry, sophomore Kavoris Howard and senior Tyler Easley each ran in a two-point conversion and senior Vyshonne Holmes caught a two-point conversion pass.
Lumberton will host Vardaman High School at 7 p.m. in the opening round of the Class 1A playoffs. The Rams (6-5) have dropped their last two games, including a 16-6 decision to Hamilton High School Friday night, to finish as the fourth seed from Region 3-1A.
Pine Belt playoff results/schedule
All games kick off at 7 p.m. Friday
Mississippi High School Activities Association
Vardaman (6-5) at Lumberton (9-2)
Noxapater (8-3) at Stringer (9-3)
East Marion (5-6) at Nanih Waiya (12-0)
Collins 47, Pelahatchie 14
Perry Central 49, St. Joseph’s Catholic 0
Taylorsville 47, Bogue Chitto 0
Heidelberg 34, Loyd Star 14
North Forrest 50, Mize 30
Bay Springs 54, West Lincoln 20
Pisgah 17, Richton 12
Richton finishes 2-9
Perry Central (10-1) at Taylorsville (11-1)
Heidelberg (7-5) at Collins (10-2)
Enterprise-Clarke (4-8) at North Forrest (8-4)
Pisgah (9-3) at Bay Springs (7-5)
Jefferson Davis County 79, St. Andrew’s Episcopal 38
Tylertown 35, Magee 13
West Marion 22, Raleigh 21
Seminary 21, Velma Jackson 20
Kemper County (3-8) at Jefferson Davis County (11-1)
Port Gibson (8-3) at Seminary (6-6)
Hazlehurst (9-2) at West Marion (6-6)
Tylertown (8-4) at Forest (9-3)
Poplarville 42, Northeast Lauderdale 27
Greene County 36, Quitman 10
Purvis 42, Mendenhall 41 (OT)
West Lauderdale 54, Sumrall 19
Sumrall finishes 6-6
Purvis (5-6) at Florence (8-4)
Poplarville (11-0) at St. Stanislaus (6-5)
Greene County (11-1) at South Pike (9-3)
West Lauderdale (8-4) at East Central (10-0)
South Jones (8-4) at Hattiesburg (11-0)
Laurel (7-4) at Picayune (9-2)
Stone (7-3) at West Jones (8-3)
Wayne County (6-5) at Brookhaven (10-1)
D’Iberville (5-6) at Petal (7-4)
Mississippi Association of Independent Schools
Columbia Academy 60, Wayne Academy 14
Columbia Academy 38 Riverfield Academy 26
Columbia Academy (7-5) at Indianola Academy (12-0)
Madison-Ridgeland Academy 28, Presbyterian Christian School 23
PCS finishes 6-6