by Hunter Dawkins, Publisher/Owner – or

The Pass Christian Pirates football team dropped its first Region 8-4A game to the Poplarville Hornets 31-23 Thursday, October 5, 2023.  According to officials in the Pass Christian School District, a statewide shortage of officials led to Thursday night’s game at the Francis McDonald Stadium after both team agreed.

“Two good football teams, heck of a game, we didn’t quit even though we could’ve shut it down after halftime,” said Pass Christian Head Football Coach Jeff Stockstill.  “There were a couple of penalties where I thought we shot ourselves in the foot on, but hats off to Poplarville.  It came down to just a couple of plays that made the difference in the game.”

In the opening drive, Poplarville drove right up the gut with Tylan Keys and Lane Amacker running through the Pirates.  Senior Running Back Amacker eventually dove in with the Hornets posting an early 7-0 lead.

Following a few key first downs, Pass Christian Specialist Terry Patton, Jr. scampered in from the 1-yard line to tie the game against Poplarville 7-7 with 4:50 left in the first quarter.

The Pirates (5-2, 1-1) took their only lead of the game with 10:37 left in the half when Pass Christian Placekicker Karsten Mooney kicked a 35-yard field goal making the score 10-7.  After this, Pass Christian woke up the giant, as Poplarville scored 17 unanswered points with a 24-10 halftime lead.

Following the break, Pass Christian attempted a rally with two consecutive touchdowns from Pirate Running Back Jacquez Alexander-Dedeaux.  After a missed extra point, Poplarville hung on to a 24-23 lead and this was the last time Pass Christian would score.

Poplarville Freshman Keys accounted for 146 yards and three touchdowns, but put the knife in the back of the Pirates running for a 43-yard touchdown with 1:26 and a 31-23 Hornets lead.

Despite the lack of time, the Pass Christian Pirates drove down to the two yard-line, but because of a holding call on third down, were pushed back ten yards and did not score.

Pass Christian Quarterback Ladd Scriber finished 16-33 for 221 yards, but had one interception.  Alexander-Dedeaux led the Pirates on the ground with 101 yards on 25 carries and two touchdowns while Patton, Jr. had only 9 yards, but the first quarter touchdown.  Additionally, Patton, Jr. caught seven passes for 122 yards.

Defensively, the Pirates were led in tackles by Defensive Lineman Andrew Daniely and Linebacker Zalondre Smith with 10 overall tackles.  Specialist Braylon Laneaux had the only sack, but Pass Christian had three tackles for loss and two hurries.

The Pass Christian Pirates host its second consecutive Region 8-4A game against Moss Point at the Francis McDonald Stadium Friday, October 13, 2023.  The game is scheduled to start at 7pm.

(Photos by Aimee Cronan/The Gazebo Gazette via Associated Press)