GAUTIER — Gautier took a quick lead Friday night in Region 4-5A play against visiting Stone High and never let up as the Gators posted a 49-22 win over the Tomcats.
The win keeps the Gators perfect in league play at 4-0, and Gautier now sits atop the region race after Laurel’s loss. Gautier is 6-3 overall and can wrap up the league title with a win over Laurel on the road next week to close out the regular season.
Stone falls to 3-6 overall with the loss and sits 1-3 in region play, and still harbors slight postseason hopes.
Gautier jumped out to a 21-0 lead early in the second stanza and cruised to the win.
Kelvin Beavers tossed a 10-yard scoring strike to Solomon Baggett for the first score just over three minutes into the game to give GHS a lead it would never relinquish at 7-0.
Following a long pass from Beavers to Chris McCan, Chris McCreary ran it in from 1 yard out to make it 14-0.
Beavers then found LJ Bennett from 4 yards out to extend the Gator lead to that aforementioned 21-0 advantage.
But the Gators weren’t through with their first-half onslaught.
After Stone cut the deficit to 21-6 off a scoop and score, Beavers scampered in from 4 yards to add to the lead and return it to three scores.
Beavers then went back to the air again and found Caylen Edwards on a tip drill to close out the half with yet another score and a 35-12 halftime lead for Gautier.
With the clock running most of the second half, Beavers again found Caylen Edwards for a touchdown toss less than 30 seconds into the second half to make it 42-12 and then Baggett ended the scoring for the Gators with a 6-yard scoring run to make it 49-12 mid-way through the third frame.
The Tomcats added two touchdowns to result in the final count.
Stone stays on the road next week to wrap up regular season play in region 4-5A action heading to Hurley to face off with the home-standing Hornets. In all likelihood, a Tomcat win over the Hornets would secure a Class 4A South State playoff berth in the upcoming postseason for Stone, and they could even sneak in with a loss to East Central. Gautier has clinched at least the second seed in the region race and is assured of hosting a first-round state playoff game in the opening round of the postseason at home in Vaughan-Wallace Stadium.