The St. Stanislaus Rock-a-chaws invited alumni and friends to the Brother Philip Memorial Athletic Complex 'between the walls' Friday night for the annual Homecoming celebration.
The annual event was celebrated for the 96th time since the first one back in 1924 when it was first billed as Dads' and Grads Day. However, the result was not what the Rocks had hoped for as the Moss Point Tigers found their first victory of the season with a 46-38 upset of the Rocks.
It was a game of offensive fireworks for both teams; however, the Rock defense left too many opportunities on the field throughout the game. The offense moved the ball and scored points behind the arm of Max Favre who threw for 434 yards and four touchdowns on 27-of-40 passing with two picks. Dallas Payne led all receivers with 10 receptions for 221 yards and three touchdowns. Bradley Darby added 100 yards and a touchdown on nine catches. SSC head coach Nate Encrapera commented, "We found some identity on offense tonight. Dallas Payne had a tremendous game tonight. He is an unbelievable wide receiver who can do so many things. Bradley Darby and Connor Ladner both came up with some very big catches throughout the game, as well."
SSC (3-3, 0-1) opened the game on offense but were not able to do anything with the ball and punted away to Moss Point. The Tigers (1-5, 1-0) took over on their own 31 yard line and went on a 12-play drive that resulted in a four-yard run by Reuben Lee with 4:24 remaining in the first quarter. The two-point conversion failed leaving the score 6-0.
On the ensuing possession, Favre went to Payne twice for gains of 11 and 24 yards before the Rocks settled for a 32-yard field goal by Gene Hoffman to make the score 6-3 with 1:03 left in the opening frame.
Davien LaGarde recovered a loose for SSC on the third play of the next Moss Point possession that gave SSC the ball at the Tiger 30 yard line. Two plays later, Favre hit Payne for a 40-yard scoring strike with 10:51 left in the first half. Hoffman's PAT made the score 10-6.
The Tigers mounted another 10-play drive that resulted in 10-yard scoring run by Dominick Dees with 67:43 left in the half. The two-point conversion by Dees was good making the score 14-10.
On the ensuing possession, Favre found Conner Ladner for a 17-yard gain followed by a 37-yard aerial to Darby down to the Tiger five-yard line. LaGarde scored from three yards two plays later with 3:59 left before intermission. Hoffman's PAT was good giving SSC the 17-14 lead.
The Rock defense stiffened and got one of their two stops on the night and forced a punt that gave them the ball at the Tiger 49 yard line. Favre was picked off at the Tiger 38 yard line by Caleb Lee. Moss Point got a huge gain when Reuben Lee connected with Jyrel Matthews for a 47-yard pickup to the Rock 15 yard line. Dees scored on the next play on a 15-yard run with 1:56 left to play in the half. The two-point conversion failed leaving the score 20-17.
SSC answered two plays into the ensuing possession. Favre hit Ladner for a 22-yard gain followed by a 52-yard scoring bomb to Payne with 1:14 left in the half. The PAT by Hoffman was good making the score 24-20.
Moss Point answered the call with a 21-yard scoring aerial from Reuben Lee to Chanton Millender with 21 seconds left. The two-point conversion failed leaving the score 26-24.
Favre connected with Payne for a 37-yard aerial followed by a 10-yard pick-up from Favre to Darby on the ensuing possession to give SSC a shot at a 39-yard field goal by Hoffman that sailed wide left leaving the score 26-24 at intermission.
During halftime, Saint Stanislaus College crowned Miss Olivia Alarcon as the 2019 Homecoming Queen as Alarcon and her court were presented to the crowd.
The two teams traded possessions to start the second half before Moss Point scored on a three-yard run by Reuben Lee with 4:22 left in the third quarter. The two-point conversion pass from Reuben Lee to Savion Burkes was good making the score 34-24.
SSC was unable to do anything with the ball and punted away to the Tigers. The Rock defense got their other stop of the game on a interception by Blake Bilich near midfield.
The turnover led to points for SSC as Favre tossed a one-yard scoring aerial to Payne with 11:47 left in the game. Hoffman's PAT was good making the score 34-31.
The Tigers answered the call with a seven-play drive that resulted in a 28-yard scoring pass from Reuben Lee to Larry Simmons with 8:04 left to play. The two-point conversion failed leaving the score 40-31.
As has been the case all night, the Rocks answered the bell. Favre hit Payne for gains of 30 and 18 yards before hitting Darby for a nine and seven-yard gain with the latter being a touchdown with 6:25 left in the game. Hoffman's PAT was good making the score 40-38.
Moss Point seemed to put the game on ice when Reuben Lee hit Simmons for a 79-yard scoring aerial with 5:29 left to play. The PAT by Burkes was blocked by John Gregory leaving the score 46-38.
The Rocks took over near midfield following a 25-yard return by LaGarde. Favre hit Darby for three consecutive gains of seven yards and then connected with Ladner for a 12-yard pick-up. Favre was picked off by Caleb Lee off a tipped ball by Payne ending the Rocks' possible comeback for a tie to force overtime.
Encrapera added, "We have to square things away in the defensive secondary and tackle more effectively. We had a very solid offensive performance tonight but we have to get better on defense. Week to week, it does not matter who the opponent is. We just need to get the right alignment and execute. We have a tough opponent in Bay High this week and it will be a battle. We need to correct our wrongs and get ready."
Reuben Lee paced Moss Point throwing for 361 yards and three touchdowns on 21-for-29 passing.
The Rocks will make the short one-mile trip across Highway 90 to Joe D. McCullough Stadium/Tank Williams Field to take on their oldest rival - the Bay High Tigers. Bay High (5-1, 0-1) dropped their Division 8-4A opener against Pass Christian (5-2, 1-0) 42-14 on Friday. Game time is set for 7pm. See you at the game!