by Hunter Dawkins
Friday night was not conventional by any terms, but the Pass Christian Pirates (1-1) and head coach Chase Carmody earned their first victory of the year; 31-6, over the West Harrison Hurricanes in Gulfport. The West Harrison Hurricanes (0-2) have yet to win a game this year and have hosted both contests while scoring only 18 points in both games.
Unlike the halftime lead by the Pirates for the last two years, Pass High never relinquished and took advantage of the Hurricanes mistakes.
“We challenged the boys to finish the game, we came out and did it,” said Pirates Head Football Coach Carmody; earning his first coaching win as a varsity head football coach. “Last week, we kind of folded before halftime and this week we scored right before halftime to gain some momentum for the second half.”
Pass Christian’s ground game took effect late in the first quarter, as dual-threat quarterback Kameron White ended a lengthy drive with a 10-yard touchdown. Davon Klein converted his first of all four extra points for the Pirates with 28 seconds left in the first quarter to post a 7-0 lead by Pass Christian.
West Harrison drove the ball towards the red zone before a fumble at the 10-yard line was recovered by the Pirates Senior defensive end Michael Ezell with 8:11 left in the half. Taking three plays, Pass Christian freshman running back Chris Alexander bulldozed his way up the middle for a touchdown run of over 30 yards.
After the PAT (extra point), the lead increased 14-0 for the Pass Christian Pirates with 3:01 left in the half. Despite the Hurricanes driving past midfield, the score went to the halftime break.
The Hurricanes began the second half by converting an onside kick, only to turnover the ball on three quick downs with 7:27 left in the third quarter. Pass Christian returned the favor by having a bad punt snap, which gave West Harrison great field position.
West Harrison finally took advantage of the Pirates mistake, as Hurricanes running back Melvin Pickens dove in from three yards and a touchdown. The extra point was blocked by the Pirates Strong Safety Xavian “Zay” Chamberlain at 4:19 left in the quarter and a new score of 14-6 Pass Christian lead still.
On a series boggled led by penalties, Pass Christian received good offensive field position and Klein kicked his first field goal of the season from 33 yards with 1:17 left in the quarter. The new score was now 17-6 and a Pirates lead.
Following the next possession with the Hurricanes offense turning the ball over again on down, the sleeping giant of the Pirates freshman phenom running back Terry Patton was awoken. Although Patton had a few decent carries until this point, he finished the game and secured the victory for Pass High by scoring lengthy touchdown run in two consecutive series for the Pirates.
The first was a 63-yard break through the line at 7:34 and the next being a 30-plus yard scamper with 3:12 left in the game. When both PATs were converted, the new score was 31-6.
Once West Harrison quarterback Josiah Khan left the game, the Pirates secured the first victory of the 2020 season.
“The Wing-T is a hard offense to stop, there going to get yards,” stated Carmody. “The biggest thing for us is limiting the other team’s first down yardage.”
Giving up another victory on their home turf, was not easy for West Harrison Head Football Coach Quincy Patrick and he openly expressed this. “I could make a lot of issues and excuses,” stated Patrick. “The young men on our team have to step up even without nine starters that have been out.”
Pass Christian finished with a total offense of 382 yards, mainly from the ground. As the numbers were familiar from the perennial attack, White lead the Pirates in offensive categories with 156 yards rushing, 19 yards passing on two completions and a touchdown from the ground. Patton has proved to be a “Freshman Force” with 131 yards rushing on 13 attempts and two touchdowns. Fellow freshman Alexander introduced himself to the dance, finishing with 76 yards on the ground on seven carries and a score.
Defensively, Chamberlain outpaced all other players with 13 tackles, 4 solo, and 3 for loss, but the Pass Christian Defensive Line proved to be tough in the trenches again. Defensive lineman Ezell finished with 7 tackles, Senior Tackle J.D. Glorioso, and Senior Nose Guard Andrew Mitchell with 5.
The Pass Christian Pirates will host the North Pike Jaguars for their homecoming festivities while West Harrison plays its first game on the road against the Southeast Lauderdale Tigers in Meridian.