PASCAGOULA — Pascagoula is off to a 3-0 start to the season after winning a thriller at home against Gautier in the renewal of “The Singing River Classic” Friday night.
The Panthers erased a 21-point deficit to pull out a 28-27 win in exciting fashion. This marks the Panthers’ first win in the Singing River Classic in three years.
The Singing River Classic started in wild fashion as Pascagoula went for an onside kick on the opening kickoff with PHS recovering. Gautier was the first on the scoreboard though, with starting quarterback Kelvin Beavers hitting senior CJ McCreary for a 25-yard pass, going up 7-0 early in the first quarter.
Both offenses were held in check until Gator receiver Kainen Rush hauled in a 30-yard catch in the second quarter. This led to an eight-yard touchdown run from sophomore running back Soloman Baggett. A successful two-point conversion extended the Gators’ lead to 14-0.
Junior defensive back Dontrius Hye gave GHS a commanding 21-0 lead with a pick-six on the following drive.
The Panthers were able to find the endzone late in the second quarter when Silas Corder tossed an eight-yard touchdown pass to Corbyn Fryfogle, cutting the Gators’ lead to 21-7 going into halftime.
Pascagoula’s next score came in an unconventional way as Corder fumbled into the endzone with senior Tank Bishop recovering the ball for a touchdown, bringing the score to 21-14.
The PHS defense stepped up with the Gators threatening to score as senior Tylan Wilson intercepted a pass in the back of the endzone to give the Panthers the ball back. Pascagoula took advantage of the turnover, tying the game at 21-21 on a 16-yard touchdown run from junior Cameron Deflanders.
Early in the fourth quarter, GHS took back the lead when Beavers connected with Rush for a 24-yard touchdown pass. A failed two point attempt gave the Gators a six-point lead, 27-21.
Deflanders scored for a second time in the game with a 16-yard touchdown run on fourth down, giving Pascagoula a 28-27 lead with 7:34 left in the game.
The Panthers defense was able to hang on to the one-point lead as Tylan Wilson hauled in his second interception of the night, sealing the 28-27 Panthers victory.
“Hats off to Gautier, they played a whale of a game… Coach High and his staff did a phenomenal job preparing his players. We were fortunate enough to come out with a victory,” Pascagoula head coach Lewis Sims said, “In this rivalry, this game means so much to so many people in [the] Pascagoula-Gautier school district… and whenever you win it, it’s a tremendous honor… we’re going to enjoy this one.”
The Panthers will look to stay unbeaten as they travel to D’Iberville for their next matchup.
Gautier, now 1-2 on the year, will be back on their home turf for their matchup against Moss Point next Friday night.