Just as most people expected, the last regular season game between cross-town rivals Pass Christian and St. Stanislaus came down to possessions. With the final control in their hands, the Pass Christian Pirates chipped in a 25-yard field goal from sophomore kicker Davon Klein and no time left for a 38-35 victory over the Rock-a-Chaws.
The Pirates (7-3, 3-1) secured the second seed in District 8-4A, and Pass Christian will host its third overall playoff matchup in school history and first winning season in over a decade.
"It was a back-and-forth game, just like we knew it would be," said Pass Christian High School Head Football Coach Blake Pennock. "Our intensity in practice since the start of the year helped us be prepared for situations like this."
In the beginning the game, situations worked in the favor for both teams, as St. Stanislaus drove down the field on an eleven play drive before Pirates defensive back Xavian Page made an interception inside the Rockachaws red zone.
After the Pirates could not convert any offensive series, St. Stanislaus quarterback Max Favre threw a 10-yard touchdown pass to Rockachaws Tight End Lee Negrotto. SSC kicker Gene Hoffman converted his first of 5 extra points with 3:10 left for an early Rockachaws 7-0 lead.
The Pirates didn't wait long, as Senior Quarterback Dustin "Gunslinger" Allison found Pass Christian receiver Kameron White on a 12-yard touchdown pass after a ten play drive with 15 seconds left in the first. Klein kicked his first extra point through the uprights to tie the score 7-7.
At the start of the next quarter, Pass Christian safety Andrew Moffett intercepted a third down SSC pass and returned it 55 yards for a touchdown. Following Klein's kick with 11:02 left in the half, the new lead was 14-7 Pass Christian.
Next drive, Favre found SSC tight end Negrotto for a second touchdown from 25 yards out. With Hoffman converting the point after, the score was tied 14-14.
Possessions were squirmy for both teams, as Pass fumbled twice and St. Stanislaus had a blocked field goal. Eventually, SSC got the ball and drove three plays where Favre found Rock-a-chaws receiver Bradley Darby for a 15-yard touchdown reception with 1:40 left in the half. The extra point gave the Rockachaws a 21-14 lead.
In an unconventional situation, the Pirates punted back to the Rocks where the St. Stanislaus offense fumbled after two plays in the red zone. Once Pass Christian gained control, the Pirates scored on a three-yard run from running back Gordon Ward with 19 seconds left. Following the point-after attempt, the score was tied at the half, 21-21.
The second half was no less a battle between the teams.
Pass Christian scored on the first possession with Allison running in a one yard sneak, followed by SSC running back Jaxson Favre scoring on a 2 yard dive a few possessions later.
Before the last-second field goal solidified the game, the Pirates’ running back Huu Nguyen ran in a two-yard touchdown followed by an SSC thirteen play drive ending in a nine- yard sweep by the Rocks’ Negrotto.
"The game was a good one between both teams," said St. Stanislaus Head Football Coach Nate Encrapera. "I thought turnovers during certain times of the game is what cost us."
St. Stanislaus (6-4, 2-2) ended its regular season Friday, but will play on the road next week in the first round of the MHSAA playoffs as the #3 seed from the district.
Next week, Pass Christian will host Purvis and St. Stanislaus will travel to Poplarville. Both games are scheduled to kick off at 7 p.m.