Hosea Singleton deflected Pass High’s two point conversion pass attempt out of bounds with 25 seconds remaining on the game clock to secure a 45-43 win for the Bay High Tigers to open district play in Bay St. Louis on Friday night.

The Tigers played from behind all of the first half, but it was clear that this group of resilient Tigers were up for the challenge as they rallied in the last minute and twelve seconds of the first half, converting a 39-yard drive to put them within three points of the Pirates at 24-21.

The Tigers’ offense took to the field first and they opened the game with two incomplete passes and eventually had to punt the ball. On their next possession, they were again forced to punt after failing to pick up a first down. But, the Pirates’ offense never took to the field as Lawrence Peterson recovered Pass High’s mishandling of the punt, and the Tigers’ offense got going after that.

The Tigers mounted a 59-yard drive as Carmello Simpson capped the drive with a 7-yard carry for the Tigers’ first score of the night to tie the game at 7-7.

But the drive exposed some opportunities for the Tigers as they took the game to the ground from there with a thunder and lightning attack that would produce more than 300 yards on the night from its two leading rushers.

Noah Cutter pounded and punished Pirates’ defenders with 163 rushing yards on the night and three touchdowns, and Simpson bolted his way for 150 yards on 14 carries and three touchdowns.

“This was a huge win for our program,” said Tigers coach Jeremy Turcotte. “We got away from our game plan, and we just ran the ball. Noah Cutter and Carmello Simpson and the offensive line were outstanding tonight.”

Simpson scored again with just under seven minutes before halftime with a 15-yard carry to tie the game at 14-14. But Pass High would score twice before halftime, first with a 33-yard field goal with 3:34 on the second quarter clock, then on a 30-yard pass from Kam White to Terry Patton, Jr.

Trevor Bordelon tied the game at 24-24, kicking a 22-yard field on the Tigers first possession of the second half, and from that point the rival teams were as balanced and even as two teams could be as they both scored two touchdowns the rest of the way.

The Tigers got their first lead of the night on their next possession on a 20-yard Simpson carry. The Pirates responded with a 20-yard keeper by White which resulted in a 31-31 tie.

Cutter regained the lead for the Tigers two possessions later on a 19-yard scoring run as the Tigers faced fourth down with one yard needed for a first down.

On the third snap of their ensuing possession, White outran Tigers’ defenders for a 25-yard scoring run. But, the Pirates failed to get the point-after-kick off, and the Pirates trailed 38-37.

Simpson returned the ensuing kickoff 23 yards, and from there the Tigers put together a 69-yard, 10-play drive, featuring the punishing running of Cutter, who carried on nine of those snaps, including runs of 27 and 22 yards before carrying two yards for the score and a 45-37 lead.

The Pirates would have two minutes and nineteen seconds left to score, and they capitalized, overcoming a loss of yardage on a bad snap and converting on a fourth down with nine yards to go for a first down.

White again connected with Patton for a 24-yard score with 25 seconds left in the game. 

“White and Patton are special for the Pass,” said Turcotte. “They gave us fits tonight, and they’re going to give a lot of people fits. Hats off to Coach Carmody.

“They gave us a little something different than we expected. We had to make an adjustment and play a different ball game than we planned on. We want to be able to run it and we want to be able to throw it, and tonight we said tonight, let’s just run it.”

The Tigers (3-1, 1-0) travel across town to play St. Stanislaus (3-2, 0-1) next Friday. Pass  High (2-3, 0-1) hosts South Jones (1-2, 1-0).

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