by Joseph W. Gex II, Staff Writer
The Pass Christian Pirates (3-0) made the short drive across the Bay bridge to take on the Saint Stanislaus Rock-A-Chaws (1-2) and the game did not disappoint the fans. Pass Christian held on for a 17-7 victory.
The two teams were playing for the 46th time in history and it turned into a no-holds barred defensive battle for much of the game. The series now stands at 24-20-2 in favor of Saint Stanislaus.
The Rocks scored on their first possession of the game with a five-play drive that featured four runs by Davien Lagarde. He ripped off runs of 16, 14, 29, and 14 yards with the last one finding the endzone with 9:36 left in the opening quarter. Evan Noel made the score 7-0 with the PAT.
The Pirates went three-and-out on their first series, but on their second possession they lit the board.
Pass Christian went on an 18-play drive that took almost seven minutes off the clock.
The drive featured a mixture of Kam White and Jacquez Alexander toting the mail. When Ryan Tyler, Joe Bradford, Spencer Cornell, Jackson Montjoy and other Rock defenders bottled up the Pirates at the Rock seven yard line, Davon Klein came on the split the posts for a 24-yard field goal.
With 11:55 left to play in the half, the score was 7-3. And, it would stay that way until after intermission.
The Pirates opened the second half of play with a 10-play drive of White and Alexander. However, on the final play, White hooked up with Anthony James for a 45-yard scoring aerial. Klein nailed the PAT to make the score 10-7.
Both teams suffered turnovers during the defensive battle before the Pirates capitalized on a Rock miscue.
The Rocks fumbled the ball away on a bad snap near midfield but the Pirates were unable to do anything with it.
Pass Christian’s Jaylin Acker picked off a Rock pass at the SSC six yard line and returned it 18-feet for a touchdown with 8:35 left to play in the game. Klein converted on the PAT to make the final score.
Prior to the buzzer sounding, the Rocks made two attempts at getting into the endzone but a three-and-out and an interception by Thomas Gorman helped preserve the victory.
Pass Christian head coach Chase Carmody commented, “The interception return for a touchdown was huge and really turned the game for us. I thought we played well defensively. We knew it would be a fight this evening. We made a few plays when we had to which was which was difference. We have to clean up our penalties. We had way too many tonight. We have Poplarville coming to us next week which will be a very good measuring stick for us.”
Pass Christian’s Alexander had 102 yards rushing on 16 carries while White added 65 yards on 20 carries.
On defense, the Pirates were led by Xavian Chamberlain with seven total tackles followed by Aiden Dedeaux and Terry Patton with four tackles each.
SSC head coach Nate Encrapera stated, “I was proud of what we did defensively. Kam White is a great athlete and we did a good job of keeping him in front of us. We did not execute well offensively which put us in tough situations. We have to get better this week and get ready for Bay High. We know they will be ready Friday and we have to be able to match their intensity.”
The Rocks were paced by Lagarde on offense se with 88 yards and a touchdown on 11 carries. On defense, Jackson Montjoy delivered 13 total tackles and an interception while Joe Bradford had 12 stops and a sack. Ryan Tyler added 10 stops with a sack, hurry, and pass deflection.
Pass Christian will host Poplarville this Friday evening. Last week, Poplarville (3-1) throttled Terry 35-16. The Rocks and the Tigers (3-1) will meet for the 53rd time in history at Joe D. McCullough Stadium/Tank Williams Field in the annual “Crab Trap” game.
(Contributed to by Hunter Dawkins, Publisher)