HURLEY/WADE — The last time Pascagoula visited Shirley Stadium on the campus of East Central High was four years ago and the Panthers walked away with a 10-point win.
Friday night, in a return engagement, head coach Lewis Sims and his Pascagoula squad picked up exactly where they left off.
The Panthers took the home-standing Hornets to the proverbial woodshed in the first half and moved to 2-0 on the young season with a 34-6 win. The Hornets dropped to 0-2 with the loss, and ECHS has now lost three straight games overall.
Pascagoula starts a season for the first time since 2019 and the Panthers have not trailed so far this season, while ECHS starts a season off at 0-2 for the first time in nine years when they began the 2014 season with consecutive losses to Vancleave and St. Martin. The Hornets fell to George County last week 28-7.
The Panthers completely dominated the first two quarters and powered their way to a commanding 27-6 lead at halftime. In a 31-0 win over arch-rival Moss Point last week, PHS only managed only a shaky 10-0 lead at intermission.
“It’s a total team effort, we played well in several different phases,” Sims, in his 13th season at the helm of the Panthers, said. “I was proud of the way we played in the first half, especially after we played as sluggish as we did last week. It’s a blessing for us to come up here and get a win.”
Pascagoula quarterback junior Silas Corder took things into his own hands to make sure the Panthers jumped out to a quick start, as he threw for a trio of scores and ran for yet another in the first half alone.
His 78-yard scoring scamper on Pascagoula’s first offense play gave PHS a lead it would never relinquish.
With that 7-0 advantage entering the second stanza, Corder and the Panthers put even more pressure of the Hornets as less than a minute into the new frame Corder hit Bruce Fryfogle about seven yards out in the flat and the senior wide receiver turned and sprinted untouched down the visiting sidelines for a 56-yard touchdown toss and run to make it 13-0.
East Central answered the bell on its next possession when Ben Myrick rolled into the end zone from nine yards out to cut the deficit t 13-6.
But Corder and Pascagoula had an answer of their own as well.
Minutes later, the junior signal-caller nailed Jahkobian Maye on a slant pattern and Maye raced 28 yards for a score with 2:52 left before halftime.
But that would be more than enough time for the Panthers to strike again, as after forcing ECHS to punt Corder guided PHS on a two-play, 70-yard scoring drive that ended with a 13-yard scoring strike to Maye with 46 seconds to go in the first half. A 57-yard bomb to Darrius Carter on the previous play set up the score.
Tank Bishop made three out of four extra-point attempts in the first half to give PHS its 21-point halftime advantage.
After a scoreless third frame, Pascagoula running back Amarie Jackson extended the lead to the final result at 34-6 with a short scoring run with just over seven minutes to play.
Pascagoula heads home to War Memorial Stadium for the first time next week to take on rival Gautier, while East Central heads to Monticello looking for its first win of the season against Lawrence County.