PURVIS, Miss. (WDAM) - For the first month or so of the 2020 season, the football fortunes of Sumrall and Purvis high schools were headed in opposite directions, and since the opening of Region 7-4A play, only one thing has changed.
John Ford threw for a pair of touchdowns and safety Cruz Freeman returned one of his two forced fumbles for a touchdown as the Bobcats held on to top the Tornadoes, 28-21, Thursday.
After losing its first four games of the season, Sumrall (2-4, 2-0 region) has won-back-to-back contest to open 7-4A play.
Meanwhile, Purvis (4-2, 0-2), which started the season with four consecutive wins has dropped its first two region outings.
The Tornadoes made a game of it Thursday. Trailing 28-6 after three quarters, Purvis outscored the Bobcats 15-0 in the final period to get within a score before falling.
Ford hit 8-of-16 passes for 128 yards and two touchdowns. He also rushed for 39 yards on 11 carries.
Hayden Barrett caught two passes for 52 yards and a touchdown and Brandon Harrison caught a 14-yard touchdown pass.
Garrison Musgrove led Sumrall in rushing with 55 yards on eight carries and James Ford scored on a short run for the Bobcats.
Sumrall will visit Forrest County Agricultural High School at 7 p.m. Sunday. The Aggies (1-4, 0-2) dropped a 27-0 decision to Greene County High School Thursday.
Purvis will travel to Poplarville High School for a 7 p.m. kickoff Friday. After losing their first two games of the season, the Hornets (3-2, 2-0) have won three in a row, including a 42-20 victory Thursday over visiting Stone High School.
LAUREL, Miss. (WDAM) - Whatever was wrong with Xavier Evans' leg earlier this season, the senior running back appeared to be just fine Thursday night.
And then some.
Evans ran for 404 yards and five touchdowns on 29 carries as the Golden Tornadoes rallied to pick up their first win of the season in a Region 3-5A clash with the Bulldogs.
At one point, Natchez (4-2, 2-1) led 22-8 before Laurel came roaring back behind Evans and quarterback Dexter Scott.
Scott only attempted four passes, but completed two for 46 yards and two touchdowns. He also rushed for 137 yards and two touchdowns on 18 carries.
Dayton Cooley scored on a 31-yard touchdown pass and Eric Gooden ran for 32 yards on just four carries.
Natchez quarterback Kyreek Murray did everything he could to avoid a defeat.
Murray completed 12-of-37 passes for 238 yards and four touchdowns with an interception. He also caught an 11-yard pass for a score and rushed seven times for 78 yards.
Traylon Minor ran for 162 yards on 17 carries and also caught two passes for another 48 yards.
Mike Williams caught six passes for 161 yards and two touchdowns, E.J. Bates caught a 9-yard TD pass and DeMarco Blanton snagged a 2-point conversion pass.
Trevon Henry, who threw the touchdown pass to Murray, caught three passes for 20 yards and a touchdown. He also rushed for a 2-point conversion.
Laurel (1-4, 1-1) will host West Jones High School at 7 p.m. Friday. The Mustangs (5-0, 1-0) defeated Taylorsville High School 35-21 Thursday night.
FLORENCE, Miss. (WDAM) _ The Tigers made Zach Dyess' first quarter touchdown run stand up to collect their first win of the season.
The Eagles (3-3, 1-1 Region 5-4A) outgained their visitors 128 yards to 114 yards, but could manage only a second-quarter safety and a third-quarter, 28-yard field goal.
Kyle Braddock, who punted four times for a 44.4-yard average, led the Tigers' defense with eight tackles, two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery.
Bobby Rowzee had seven tackles and a fumble recovery, Kaleb Bryant came up with a fumble and an interception and Jalin Naylor added an interception.
Northeast Jones (1-3, 1-1) will host Quitman High School at 7 p.m. Friday. The Panthers (0-5, 0-2) lost 45-0 Thursday to Newton County High School.
MAGEE, Miss. (WDAM) - The Simpson County Trojans limited Marion County’s Trojans to less than 200 yards total offense to pick up a Region 8-3A victory.
Magee jumped out to a 6-0 lead in the first quarter on a 1-yard run by Jawon Smith. The lead went o 20-0 in the second quarter on a 9-yard run and 2-point conversion run by Cayden Bridges and an 11-yard run by Chandler Pittman.
West Marion cut the lead to 20-6 at the break on a Jayden Duncan 5-yard pass to Jartavious Martin, but neither team could manage a score in the second half.
Duncan completed 9-of-18 passes for 126 yards and a touchdown with two interceptions.
Qavonte Swanigan caught four passes for 96 yards. West Marion was limited to 69 yards rushing with Martin and Octavious Harvey ran for 33 yards each.
For Magee, Pittman completed 14-of-25 passes for 135 yards with an interception, and did even more damage on the ground with 186 yards and a score on 22 carries.
Shaw ran for 61 yards and a touchdown on 13 carries, while Xavier Franks had eight catches for 92 yards.
Magee (4-0, 2-0) will visit Tylertown High School at 7 p.m. Friday. The Chiefs (1-5, 0-2) lost 21-0 Thursday to Seminary High School.
West Marion (4-2, 1-1) will welcome one of its archrivals at 7 p.m. Thursday when Columbia High School comes to Foxworth. The Wildcats (6-0, 2-0) received a forfeit win from Jefferson Davis County High School last week.