by Anthony VanCourt, Contributing Writer
Five touchdowns from Ronnie Brown, Jr. led the way for the Long Beach Bearcats (1-3) and Head Coach Jacob Massey as they pick up their first win this season and break a 29-game losing streak with a convincing 34-20 victory over the Purvis Tornadoes (2-2).
It was homecoming for the Tornadoes, but it was the Bearcats who would grab the attention.
On the first possession of the game from their own 15-yard line, Long Beach quarterback Will Brady would give to Ronnie Brown, Jr. who broke loose for an 85-yard touchdown run leaving the Tornado defense stunned. After the Alan Long extra-point, the Bearcats held an early 7-0 first quarter lead over Purvis.
Following a defensive stand by the Bearcats forced a Purvis punt on the next series, Coach Massey continued to loosen up the Purvis defense with a mix of Will Brady and Andre Windham off the edge before going back to the fullback dive with Ronnie Brown, Jr. who was indeed the star of the show, scoring two more touchdowns of 65 and 72 yards while rushing for over 250 yards in the first half.
Purvis would add a touchdown from Moses Cummings in the second quarter for halftime score of 20-7.
In the second half, Purvis put together several decent drives resulting in another touchdown by Cummings cutting the Bearcat lead to 20-13 after a missed point-after attempt.
The score line would remain 20-13 through the end of the third quarter as both defenses made critical stops.
As the fourth quarter began, Long Beach would continue with their strong offensive line play allowing Ronnie Brown, Jr. to score twice from runs of 1 yard and 24 yards to make the score 34-14 in favor of the Bearcats.
Purvis continued to show heart, adding a 15-yard touchdown reception by Jacob Parker with 14 seconds left in the game. With Purvis out of timeouts, Will Brady took a knee before the buzzer sounded, giving Jacob Massey his first win as Long Beach’s head coach.
“It’s a great feeling to get our first one against a team celebrating their homecoming. The guys played hard, and I’m excited for them! We’re still a young team. Hopefully, this will help them to relax and just play football now,” said Jacob Massey, Long Beach head coach.
This victory over Purvis ended a 29-game losing streak for the Bearcats as you could see the excitement in the faces of players, coaches, and fans who are hoping this will mark a turning point in the program toward better things to come.
Long Beach’s Ronnie Brown Jr. finished with 5 touchdowns and over 300 yards rushing on the night. The Bearcat defense was led by Sage Fayard, Colt Busby, and SJ Valentine who have put together strong performances in each of Long Beach’s first four games.
Returning from injury tonight was kicker Alan Long who was 4 of 5 on his extra-point attempts.
Next week, the Bearcats will travel to Petal (2-2) before hosting South Jones (1-3) in their final non-region contest on September 29th. The Purvis Tornadoes will be on the road the next two weeks traveling to Oak Forest Academy and Forrest County.