BILOXI – Zachary Marlin tossed three first-half touchdowns in leading Biloxi to a dominating 44-14 season-opening victory over Stone County Friday night in the annual Shrimp Bowl Classic.
The Indians (1-0) scored on all five of their first-half possessions to build a 30-0 halftime lead.
Juice Haskin scored the first of his two touchdowns on a hook-and-lateral play from 32 yards out to put Biloxi on the board first.
Stone County (0-1) fumbled the ensuing kickoff and the Indians recovered at the Tomcat 13. Three plays later, Marlin hit Darrion Perkins on a middle screen and Biloxi was up 13-0 with 8:33 to play in the opening quarter.
Following a Stone County punt, the Indians mixed the run and pass to move 60 yards in 11 plays with placekicker Tristan Bourcy splitting the uprights for a 26-yard field goal to make it 16-0 after one quarter.
Marlin, who played sparingly in the second half, was 7-of-12 for 85 yards and 2 TDs in the first quarter.
Biloxi went up 23-0 with 8:50 to play in the second when Marlin found Antonio Deere for a 28-yard touchdown pass to culminate a 5-play, 59-yard drive.
The Tomcats sustained just one drive in the second quarter, but a 15-yard penalty forced their fifth punt of the game. Biloxi scored once again in the final minute of the first half when Martin hit Tristain Haynes for a short pass and the speedster raced 75 yards for a touchdown to make it 30-0 at the intermission.
Marlin ended the first half 9-of-14 for 160 yards and three touchdowns.
Stone County came out of the locker room and put together their best drive of the night to start the second half. Senior running back Daylon Collins busted free for a 9-yard scoring run to cap a 12-play, 64-yard drive with 7:23 in the third quarter.
But on the ensuing kickoff, William Lal picked up a carrom off a teammate and 65 yards for the score to put the Indians up 37-7.
Stone County turned the ball over on downs on their next possession and the Indians went 48 yards in just three plays for their final points of the night. Haskin broke loose for a 44-yard TD scamper with 1:24 left in the third quarter.
With 7:32 to play in the game, Collins, who was the workhorse in the backfield for the Tomcats, scored from a yard out to cap an 8-play, 57-yard drive. Aiden Guinn tacked on his second extra point of the game.
Collins, a senior running back, rushed 19 times for 108 yards.
Biloxi will next travel to traditional powerhouse Meridian on September 1, while the Tomcats will host Poplarville in their home opener Friday.