by Hunter Dawkins
Unfortunately, neither western Harrison County school playing on the road had good results last Friday night. Although the Long Beach Bearcats (1-4, 0-1) were within striking distance in the first half against district opponent Gautier, the second half surge gave the Gators a victory 54-27.
“Gautier was a great football team and we played good enough to win the game,” said Long Beach Head Football Coach Philip Pigott. “Penalties at critical times continue to prevent us from putting the entire game together.”
Following an early Gautier touchdown on the opening drive, Long Beach Quarterback Guice Tripp found Bearcats receiver D’lijah Robinson for a 30-yard touchdown pass on a fourth down play. With the Long Beach Kicker Simon Nguyen putting the extra point through the uprights, the score was tied 7-7 all at under five minutes left in the first quarter.
After allowing a quick rushing touchdown from the Gators, the Bearcats answered on a 54-yard touchdown strike from Tripp to Robinson again. Nguyen converted the extra point tying the game 14-14 with under six minutes left. This would be the last time the game was tied Friday night.
Gautier accounted for three touchdowns in the last six minutes, but the Bearcats found one last cut of the lead with Robinson diving in for a touchdown from two yards out. Once the extra point was converted, the halftime score was 35-21 Gautier.
The second half was not kind to the Long Beach Bearcats, even though Tripp found senior receiver Dalton Cook for a 35-yard touchdown pass. With a missed extra point, the score was 42-27 Gautier at 4 minutes left in the third quarter. This was the last score for the Bearcats and Gautier finished scoring two more touchdowns in the fourth quarter.
Long Beach was led in the air by Tripp, who went 13-29 passing for 234 yards and three touchdowns. On the ground, the Bearcats were led by running back Johnny Pham rushing for 37 yards on 15 carries.
Robinson led the Bearcats by scoring three touchdowns, including six receptions for 92 yards and only two yards on one attempt.
“We have a great opportunity this Friday in front of a home crowd to show our continued growth,” said Pigott. The Bearcats will host new district opponent East Central at Lumpkin Magee Field at 7pm.
In Lyman Friday night, the West Harrison Hurricanes (1-4, 0-1) didn’t have it easier as they dropped their first 6A district game against the Harrison Central Red Rebels 48-14.
Despite the rough performance by the Hurricanes, senior running back Llanes “Diesel” Dickerson led both teams with 179 yards of total offense and both touchdowns for West Harrison.
Coming out of the gates, Dickerson shocked the Rebels with an opening 69 yard scamper down the sideline for an early touchdown by West Harrison. With Hurricanes kicker Kole Joyner converting the extra point, the lead was 7-0 West Harrison.
Regrettably, this was the only lead for West Harrison, as the Red Rebels scored 41 points that were not answered until the fourth quarter. Dickerson ran in an 18-yard sweep for West Harrison to cut the lead to 41-14 following the extra point. Harrison Central wasn’t done and jolted in another touchdown with under five minutes to finalize the victory 48-14.
West Harrison will host the district opponent Gulfport Admirals at 7pm. The Admirals are led by The Gazebo Gazette 2018 Offensive Player of the Year Cade Crosby, who has thrown for 843 yards, going 50-79 with 10 touchdown passes.