Gulfport Admirals defense stymies Hawks, 26-7
By Dwayne Bremer
Oct 7, 2017, 00:34
The Hancock Hawks were unable to solve a stingy Gulfport Admiral defense Friday, which limited the Hawks to 135 yards of total offense in a 26-7 Admiral victory at Milner Stadium.
"Their defense is as good as advertised," Hawks Head Coach Neil Lollar said. "I thought our defense played pretty well, but they beat us on a few plays and that was the difference."
Gulfport's defense set the tone early when Karlos Dillard stuffed Blake Comeaux on a fourth-and-one at the Hawk 30.
Gulfport took advantage of the good field position, scoring two plays later on a three-yard run by Quarterback T.Q. Nelson.
"I take full responsibility for that fourth-down call," Lollar said. "We gambled there and they made a play.
Nelson added his second score of the game early in the second quarter when he capped an 11-play, 80-yard drive with a two-yard run. The point-after was no good and the Admirals led 13-0. Gulfport extended its lead to 19-0 late in the second quarter when Nelson connected with Luke Dimitriaes on a five-yard touchdown pass.
Nelson rushed for 53 yards on 16 carries and completed four of 10 passes for 49 yards in the contest. The Hawks received the second-half kickoff and put together their best drive of the game.
Rondell Womack started things out with a 31-yard run and three plays later, Caleb Garcia connected with Marquis Cherry on a 33-yard pass to the Admiral eight.
The drive stalled, however, and the Hawks were forced to attempt a 34-yard field goal which fell short.
Both teams traded punts, and with just 10 seconds to play in the third quarter, Gulfport lined up for another punt at their own 27.
On the play, Hancock's Chase McDonald poured into the backfield and blocked the punt. The ball bounced back into the endzone where it was covered up by the Hawks' Austin Briley for the touchdown.
Elliot Nolan added the point-after to cut the Admiral lead to 19-7.
Seizing on the momentum, Hancock's defense forced a three-and-out and the Hawks got the ball back at the Admiral 30. First down runs by Comeaux and Womack moved the ball into Admiral territory, but a costly penalty and a sack of Garcia two plays later gave the Admirals the ball back with 5:46 to play.
Gulfport's Larozzo Shugart salted the game away for the Admirals when he scored on a 16-yard run in the final minutes of the game.
Despite giving up 26 points, the Hawks defense only allowed 232 yards of total offense in the game.
Trenton Ladner packed the Hawks with 11 tackles. Briley had five stops, a sack, and a recovery touchdown. Womack led the Hawks' offensive attack with 59 yards on 10 carries.
Garcia completed 10 of 16 passes, but for only 58 yards.
The Hawks (5-2) will return home next week to take on D'Iberville.