LYMAN — The Gulfport Admirals (6-4, 4-1 region) scored on their first five possessions of the first half on their way to a 49-7 rout of the Harrison Central Red Rebels (6-4, 2-3) on Thursday night.
The Admirals had their way with the Red Rebels, using a good balance of running and passing. They picked up good chunks of yardage when they passed the ball.
On the game’s opening possession, the Admirals went 69 yards on 12 snaps, which included three Nicholas Williams pass completions, one for 27 yards into the Red Rebels’ side of the field.
The drive would include Williams keepers for 5 and 8 yards and then 1 yard for the touchdown.
The Admirals would deny the Red Rebels on their first possession, allowing only a single yard.
So, after a short punt, the Admirals would start their second drive at midfield. This time, the Admirals only needed four snaps with William carrying for 11 yards and completing two passes, the first for 10 yards and the second for a 30-yard touchdown to Cooper Crosby for a
14-0 lead with just under three minutes remaining in the first quarter.
Harrison Central picked up its first first down of the night on its ensuing possession, but on the fourth snap of the possession, Pierre Felder stepped in front of Harrison Central’s Tri Gaughf’s pass, picking it off for the Admirals, and once again, giving his team excellent field position at the Harrison Central 46-yard line.
The Admirals would only need two snaps to capitalize on the turnover as Williams connected with Bishop McGruder for a 42-yard score to put the Admirals up 21-0 with 41 seconds left in the quarter.
“We wanted to play with a little more versatility with our passing game after last week,” said Admirals coach Blake Pennock. “I thought we did a really good job executing. Our players found open grass. It’s a good rivalry. I was excited that our guys came out and executed. We thought that we could do this, obviously, and having our
guys focused and doing our job.”
With the win, the Admirals are the second seed and will host a first-round playoff game next Friday night against Pearl.
“That’s a big deal, hosting a home game,” said Pinnock. “We’ve got to get this first-round win.”
Harrison Central got on the scoreboard on its third possession of the night as Gaughf connected with Jaden Eckford for a 78-yard scoring toss with 11:31 remaining in the second quarter. But that would be the only score for the Red Rebels.
Gulfport would add two scores in the quarter, both on pass plays from Williams to Gavin Brown. The first one was a 32-yard touchdown with just under nine minutes remaining in the quarter. The second was a 24-yarder with 2:55 left before halftime, which put the Admirals up 35-7 at the break.
The Admirals would capitalize on another Red Rebels turnover as they would go 81 yards after a Damon Felder II interception. Williams would
complete four passes on the drive—19, 6, 10 and 19 yards. Desmond Smith would cap the drive with a 2-yard carry to put the Admirals up 42-7.
The Admirals would capitalize on their third interception of the game as Ladarious Smith carried it in from 2 yards out to close out the game’s scoring.
The loss gave the Red Rebels the No. 4 seed in the region, which means they will play on the road next week in the first round.