PINE BELT (WDAM) - Hattiesburg 43, Collins 8
Coach Tony Vance and his Hattiesburg High Tigers came into Friday night's contest with Collins High School without two of their top playmakers, running back Fabian Franklin and receiver D'Andre Humbles.
But as it is turning out, the Tigers have plenty of players to share the spotlight.
Drexlan Allen ran for 123 yards and a touchdown and quarterback Julian Conner threw for three touchdowns and ran for another as Hattiesburg rolled to a 43-8 victory over Collins at Patrick Stadium.
With Franklin still sidelined by a mild concussion suffered against Laurel last week, Allen headed a ground game that gashed Collins for 305 yards.
"A big part of that is the offensive line," Vance said. "We have two sophomores and the rest of them are juniors, and we've told them all season, they have to be our strong point. As good as our skill guys are, if we don't get it done on the offensive line, we're not going to be very good.
"They did a tremendous job (Friday) night. I was watching film, and they opened up some tremendous holes. They were times our guys didn't get touched until they reached the secondary."
Hattiesburg also passed for 305 yards. Conner completed 14 of 24 passes for 298 yards and three touchdowns and ran for another as Hattiesburg (2-1) picked up their second consecutive victory.
Shakeenen West caught five passes for 144 yards and a score, while Anthony Dunn's lone reception was good for a 13-yard touchdown. Conner and Allen also hooked up on a 66-yard scoring pass.
Hattiesburg jumped out to a 21-0, first-quarter lead and led 34-0 at halftime.
"Our guys, they executed early and got it in the end zone, and that's a big thing for us," Vance said. "That's one of the big things for us, scoring on the opening drive of each half, and when you can do that, it's a good measure for you.
"When you're able to do that, you like that. It gives you a chance to be successful."
Humbles missed the game with a banged-up knee, but Vance said he expected both he and Franklin to return Thursday night when the Tigers host East Marion High School (0-3).
"You don't want to see guys get hurt, but sometimes you build depth through injury, and if you can, that's great for you moving forward," Vance said.
West Marion 58, East Marion 20
On week after tying a school record by having a hand in five touchdowns against Lawrence County, quarterback Adrian Miller went one better against the Trojans cross-county rival.
Miller threw for four touchdowns and ran for two more as West Marion won on the Eagles' home field for the first time in 15 years.
"We got to talking about it this week, and we think we're right that West had not won there since 2001," West Marion coach Brad Duncan said. "It's kind of strange, with all the success we've had over the past few years, but we're pretty sure that was the last time."
The Trojans (2-1) will be aiming for a county championship when they host Columbia (1-1) Friday in Foxworth.
"We have a thing over here they started in 2000, a county championship thing, and that's a big thing," Duncan said. "Marion County football, a rich tradition, and so to be Marion County champion is pretty cool and we've won it four out of the last five years.
"But here's the thing: Since they started doing it in 2000, no school has won it three years in a row. So, one of our goals is to do that."
East Marion (0-3) will travel to Hattiesburg High School (2-1) Thursday night.
South Jones 22, Pass Christian 7
Xavier Roberts rushed for 190 yards on 35 carries and the Braves' defense did not allow a point while scoring a touchdown and safety as South Jones remained unbeaten.
"I know we've started 2-0 the last two years, but I don't know the last time South Jones was 3-0," Coach Cory Reynolds said.
Pass Christian (1-2) scored on interception return shortly before halftime to lead 7-0 at the break.
But the Braves scored on a safety and then went up 8-7 in the third quarter and never looked back.
Ryne Sasser added a 52-yard interception return to clinch the win.
"Our defense has bailed us out the past couple of weeks," Reynolds said.
The Braves will host Northeast Jones (1-1) Friday. The Tigers overcame a 20-0 deficit to claim a 21-20 victory at Bay Springs Friday night.
West Jones 21, Quitman 14
The Mustangs jumped out to a 21-0 halftime lead and held off the Panthers in the second half.
Quarterback Hunter Parish completed 8 of 14 passes for a season-high 150 yards and two touchdowns. Both scores went to Garrick Randolph, who caught three balls for 82 yards.
John Oliver ran for 69 yards on 18 carries, while Andreas Pickens added 37 yards and a score on 16 carries.
West Jones (3-0) will host Magee (2-1) Friday.
Stone 42, Forrest County AHS 7
Terrion Avery rushed for 191 yards and three touchdowns as the Tomcats ran away from the Aggies in the second half.
FCAHS trailed only 14-7 at halftime after quarterback Roy'Quez McNair found Kijana Breeland with a 17-yard touchdown pass.
But Avery, who had opened the scoring on an 8-yard run in the first quarter, scored on runs of 9 yards and 1 yard in the third quarter.
The Tomcats also got a 13-yard scoring pass from Preston Stringer to Nick Briwn in the second quarter, and after Avery's two scores in the third quarter, put the game out of reach on Kentrell McCray's 10-yard run and Enrique Whaley's 70-yard punt return in the fourth quarter.
FCAHS (0-3) visits North Forrest (0-3) Friday, while Stone (3-0) travels to Poplarville (2-1).
Sacred Heart 39, Lloyd Star 37
Campbell Klein rushed for 101 yards and two touchdowns, including the go-ahead points late in the game as the Crusaders won their second consecutive game.
"We trailed for like 3 ½ quarters, but we just kept battling them and battling them," Sacred Heart coach Lonny Schraeder said. "I'm very encouraged."
Will Agnew also rushed for 101 yards, while quarterback Zach Weatherall completed 20 of 32 passes for 132 yards and a touchdown.
After Klein's touchdown run gave the Crusaders the lead, Sacred Heart got the ball back and was able to grind out a couple of first downs to run out the clock.
"For the offensive line to be able to finish out the game, that was really good," Schaeder said. "We did a lot of good things. We've still got a lot of good things to clean up, but we did a lot of good things, too."
Paul Rowell had five catches for 36 yards and a touchdown, Owen Weatherall had three catches for 32 yards, while Gary Heathcock had five catches for 27 yards.
Joseph Bishop, who had five catches for 15 yards, returned an interception for a touchdown, while Rowell and Owen Weatherall also had interceptions.
Jackson Allen recovered a teammates' fumble in the end zone for another score.
Sacred Heart (2-1) will host Mount Olive High School (2-1) Friday.
Presbyterian Christian 45, Parklane Academy 0
Isaiah Woullard rushed for 154 yards and three touchdowns and the Bobcats pitched a shutout defensively to roll to remain undefeated.
"The biggest thing is our defense," PCS coach Joey Hawkins said. "We gave up 35 points a game last year and that was only the third shutout we've had here in my eight years here. Our defense has made great strides."
Quarterback Luke Hudson completed 11 of 14 passes for 141 yards and a touchdown and also rushed for another.
Brandon Thornton had a touchdown grab among his threw catches, while Nick Martin caught five balls.
"We had real balanced attack, so we were able to keep them off balance," Hawkins said.
The Bobcats (3-0) visits Jackson Academy (2-1) Friday.
Poplarville 44, Lumberton 12
Antonio Barnes threw for three touchdowns and Jesse Pernell ran for three more as the Hornets ran past the Panthers.
Lumberton trailed just 13-6 after one quarter, but was outscored 28-6 in the second period to trail 41-12 at halftime.
Canaan Ray, Evan Smith and Austin Bolton each caught a touchdown pass for the Hornets.
Lumberton (1-2) hosts Enterprise High (3-0) Friday, while Poplarville (2-1) hosts Stone High (3-0) Friday.