by Joseph W. Gex II, Staff Writer
The Pass Christian Pirates stormed into the Class 4A state playoffs with a 57-34 victory over the Greene County Wildcats on Friday evening. The game also served as Senior Night for the football team cheerleaders, and band.
Greene County scored on their opening possession of the game to take an early 7-0 lead on KJ Miller’s 14 yard carry.
But, Pass Christian (5-3, 2-2) moved right down the field behind the running and passing of Kameron White to answer the Wildcats. Larry Burks scored from one yard out with 9:17 left in the first quarter to knot the score at 7-7.
The Pirate defense held firm and got the ball back for their offense deep in Wildcat territory.
In two plays, Quarterback Kam White slipped into the endzone on a two-yard run with 6:48 left in the first quarter to go up 14-7.
The Pirate defense forced a three-and-out situation for Greene County and took over at their own 37 yard line. Every play of the 13-play drive except one featured White with the ball. The drive culminated with White scoring on a two-yard run with 2:19 left in the first quarter. Davon Klein converted on the PAT to make the score 21-7.
The Wildcats answered the Pirates with a 15-yard scoring aerial from Connor West to Cam Dunnam with 51 second left in the first quarter to make the score 21-14 after Coby King’s PAT.
The Wildcats surprised the Pirates with an onside kick that was recovered at the Pirate 44 yard line.
Eight plays later, West tossed an 11-yard scoring pass to to Dunnam with 9:44 left in the first half. Zay Chamberlain blocked the PAT keeping the score 21-20.
Each team traded possessions on interceptions before Pass Christian drove into Wildcat territory but consecutive penalties forced a punt that Klein placed at the Wildcat one yard line.
A bad snap forced West to kick the ball out of the back of the endzone resulting in a safety on the Wildcats to make the score 23-20 with 2:37 left in the half.
After the kickoff, Pass Christian took over at the Wikdcat 40 yard line and the short drive ended with White tossing a nine yard scoring pass with 22 seconds left in the half to make the score 30-20 after Klein’s PAT.
The Pirates opened the second half on offense and marched down the field on a nine-play drive to add to their lead on a seven yard scoring pass from White to Terry Patton, Jr., with 8:49 left in the quarter. Klein’s PAT missed leaving the score 36-20.
Jaylin Acker intercepted the Wildcats on the ensuing possession but the Pirates were unable to make anything of it and punted away.
After Greene County turned the ball over on downs, Pass Christian took over on their 43 yard line. The seven-play drive ended with White throwing a 22-yard touchdown aerial to Patton with 4:28 left in the third quarter. After Klein’s PAT, the score was 43-20.
Greene County answered the bell this time with a seven-play drive that ended with a Kennen Franks 11-yard scoring run with 2:22 left in the third quarter. After the two-point conversion failed, the score was 43-26.
The Wildcats converted an onsides kick again to take over at the Pirate 45 yard line. Five plays later, West threw a 15-yard scoring pass to BJ Johnson with 1:04 left in the third quarter. The two-point conversion was good making the score 43-34.
The Pirates answered the Wildcats with a seven-play drive that ended with Larry Burks scoring on a four yard run with 11:17 left in the game. Klein’s PAT was good making the score 50-34.
The Wildcats turned the ball over on downs and Pass Christian took over at their own 29 yard line.
The Pirates milked the clock on a 13-play drive that all but sealed the win with White scoring on a 12-yard run with 3:09 left in the game. Klein’s PAT made the final score 57-34.
Pass Christian head coach Chase Carmody commented, “I was very proud of how our offense continued to keep pace and score tonight. Defensively, Greene County took away the inside zone but gave us a short passing game. We were able to be successful to open the field up some more and take advantage of good situations down field. It will be a fun experience in the playoffs for the players. It is always tougher this time of year and we expect a great game from Newton County.”
The Pirates were led by White with 251 yards passing and three touchdowns on 16-for-25 passing and rushed 26 times for 183 yards and three scores. Jacquez Alexander added 111 yards on 14 carries.
On defense the Pirates were paced by Zay Chamberlain with 13 tackles including 8 solo, 2 tackles for loss and a fumble recovery. Aiden Dedeaux added 8 tackles with 2 tackles for loss while Bryson Adams had 7 tackles with 6 solos and 3 tackles for loss. Jaylin Acker had 6 tackles with 3 solos and an interception. Thomas Gorman finished with 5 tackles including 2 solos and an interception.
The Pirates travel to Newton County (4-5) today for a first round playoff game against the Cougars. Last week, Newton County beat Quitman 51-28. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.
(All Photos by Hunter Dawkins/The Gazebo Gazette via AP)