Gautier extended its home win streak to seven games Friday night with a 41-20 win over visiting D’Iberville in its home-opener at Vaughn-Wallace Stadium Friday.
The Gators bounced back from a 42-0 thumping on the road at the hands of Gulfport last week to post their first win of the season. Meanwhile, the Warriors drop to 0-2 on a season for the first time in 14 years, since 2009 when they dropped games to Forrest County AHS and Harrison Central to open that season.
Gautier avoided its first 0-2 start since 2016, when the Gators fell to George County and Moss Point in consecutive weeks to open the year.
New Gautier quarterback Kelvin Beavers, who opened the season as the top receiver for GHS, accounted for three touchdowns in the first 16 minutes of the game to stake the Gators to a seemingly commanding 22-0 lead that they would never relinquish.
Gautier opened the scoring with a short touchdown pass from Beavers to Caylen Edwards. He followed that up with a 10-yard keeper for a score to make it 15-0 less than a minute into the second stanza, and then extended Gautier’s lead to 22-0 with a touchdown toss to Kainen Rush just five minutes later.
However, D’Iberville bounced back with two straight scores in the next four minutes to cut the deficit to 22-14 as Marquise Washington scored on a 10-yard run and then two minutes later Connor Jones hit Jayquan Havard on a 31-yard scoring strike.
The Warriors got the ball back and were driving to cut into the GHS lead even further, but late in the first half Gautier’s Ja’Quez Patterson made perhaps the biggest play of the game when he picked off a DHS pass and returned it with a pick-six to make it 28-14 at halftime.
The Warriors again cut into the deficit as the second half began, as Jones kept on a one-yard sneak to make it 28-20. But that would be all the scoring for DHS on this night.
Gautier running back Solomon Baggett sealed the win for the home-standing Gators with a pair of scoring runs in the fourth and final frame, as he scored on a 10-yard jaunt with 10:30 to play and then wrapped up the scoring with his second scoring run with just over four minutes to play from seven yards out.
Gautier heads across the bridge down Highway 90 a few miles east next week to renew the singing River Classic with rival Pascagoula while D’Iberville hosts two-time defending Class 5A state champion Picayune.