Gulfport 24, Ocean Springs 7
Cain Suddeth made four field goals (36, 36, 43, 20), and Deon Cole had another 100-yard rushing game as the Admirals won their first region title since 2012. Gulfport also had five takeaways, which included a 95-yard interception return for the sealing TD by Cole with 11:41 left in the game.
Deon Cole, Gulfport
The running back had 180 rushing yards and the interception return for a TD. He also had a 32-yard pass on a fake punt that set up the Admirals’ first field goal of the night.
8 minutes, third quarter
Alton Conerly made a one-handed interception in the end zone to keep the score 15-0 with Gulfport ahead.
“It’s just a great tribute to our kids and coaching staff. These assistant coaches have done a tremendous job. This is the most unselfish team I’ve been around. We have great team chemistry, and they played hard. They just came out from the opening bell and played great defense and just played a great all-around game.”
— Eddie Pierce, Gulfport
West Marion 18, Tylertown 16
The Trojans (10-1, 4-1) rallied from a 16-6 deficit in the fourth quarter with a pair of touchdowns to beat the Chiefs (7-3, 2-3) and clinch the No. 2 seed in Region 8-3A. The Chiefs go in as the No. 4 seed.
Braxton Smith, West Marion
Smith intercepted two passes with his last being the game-winning 95-yard return for a touchdown with 1:15 left in the game that put the Trojans up 18-16. It was fourth-and-goal and Tylertown was trying to score to gain an advantage if there ended up being a three-way region tiebreaker.
0:00, second quarter
West Marion quarterback Josh Miller threw an interception in the end zone as the first half expired. However, the Tylertown player did not down the ball. He dropped it and Miller ran into the end zone and picked up for the TD. West Marion was down 10-6 at the half instead of 10-0.
“The defense was freaking awesome all night long. They were a lot bigger than we were and pounding us. The kids never quit and found a way to win at end. It’s fitting that we’re going to get to host first round.”
— Brad Duncan, West Marion