“A lot of defensive battles,” said South coach Blake Pennock of Gulfport about the first half. “Lot of speed and size. But we got a little offense in the second half and it went a long way to us winning. Both teams played awesome and it always seems this game comes down to the wire and did so again today. I’m really proud of the guys.”
Hattiesburg running back Tavares Wade then took control on the ground in the third quarter, taking six straight handoffs into North territory. Brandon quarterback Landon Varnes hit Petal wide receiver Cayden Burger with a 15-yard pass that set up a 2-yard touchdown run by Wade.
The North punted out of its own end zone and Darby returned the ball to the North 26. Varnes then threw a bullet to Burger for a touchdown to put the South on top for the first time with 4:50 to play. Stewart nailed the extra point to make it 20-15.
Offensively, Gulfport’s Cam Joseph had a couple of receptions for the South.