BAY ST. LOUIS – Pass Christian closed out rival Bay High with two interceptions to thwart the home team’s comeback effort in the battle to host a home Class 4A South State playoff game next week.
The first Pirates’ interception came on a Tigers’ lateral and runback for a touchdown closed out the game’s scoring, securing a 37-29 win for Pass. The Pirates wrap up regular season play at 7-2 overall and earn the second seed in Region 8-4A at 3-1. The Tigers will be at least the fourth seed in the region race but the final count won’t be in place until after Friday nights Poplarville at Greene County game. Bay high sits 4-6 overall and 1-3 in the region.
The Pirates were penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct after the touchdown, which backed up the PAT kick attempt 15 yards. The PAT kick failed, and the Tigers were still in the game with 35 ticks remaining on the game clock. With no timeouts remaining, the Tigers would attempt two passes downfield, but the second one was intercepted, leaving the Pirates to take a knee to close out the game.
“That’s rivalry football; nobody’s going to go away,” said Pass High coach Jeff Stockstill. “Somebody’s got to make a play, somebody’s got to find a way to win. Somebody’s got to close somebody out. I just feel fortunate to be on the plus side of that.”
The Pirates led 22-7 at halftime, but the Tigers rallied back with 13 unanswered points to get within 2 points of the Pirates at 22-20 early in the fourth quarter. Xander Ladner connected with Jaylen Antoine for a 24-yard passing score with 1:13 remaining in the third quarter. The two-point attempt came up two yards short.
On their ensuing possession, Jeramie Keys intercepted Pass Christian’s Ladd Scriber and returned it 10 yards for the touchdown.
Bay High made a huge mistake on the ensuing kickoff as the kick went horizontal, going out of bounds at their own 36-yard line. With excellent field position, the Pirates would extend their lead to 29-20 with a 9-yard scoring toss from Scriber to Jayden Acker.
On their ensuing possession, the Tigers would go 61 yards on nine snaps to get within two of the Pirates (29-27) as Ladner would connect with Avery Harris from 20 yards out for the score.
That would close out the Tigers’ scoring, but they certainly let some opportunities get away from them. On their first possession of the game, after stopping Pass on fourth down at the Pirates’ 11 yard line, the Tigers turned the ball over on a fumble nine yards away from a score.
After the Pirate’s first score, the Tigers mishandled a lob onside kick and Pass recovered, giving them excellent field position at the Bay High 33-yard line after a 15-yard penalty against Bay for a personal foul on the play.
Five plays later, the Pirates would go up 14-7.
“I put this one hundred percent, not being able to find a way to get us over the hump,” said Tigers’ coach Jeremy Turcotte. “That’s been the story of our season, a couple of inconsistencies here and there, and shooting ourselves in the foot. It’s my job to overcome those things and clean it up.”
The Bay High Tigers got on the scoreboard first, but Pass took advantage of a short field when the Tigers’ ensuing kickoff went out of bounds. Scriber connected with Terry Patton, Jr. for a 42-yard pass play to even the game at 7-7.
The Pirates scored again just before halftime as Scriber connected with Anthony James for a 69-yard score with 28 ticks remaining on the second quarter clock.
Scriber led Pass with 311 yards passing, completing 15 of 24 passes for three touchdowns and one interception.
The Pirates will host a home game in the first round of the 4A playoffs, while the Tigers will hit the road to open the postseason.