OCEAN SPRINGS — The Greyhounds continued to impress on the Coast, demolishing Hattiesburg 43-8 Friday night in Mississippi High School football.
After slipping past Clinton in double overtime 45-44 last week, Ocean Springs scored in six of its seven first-half possessions on offense and, on defense, allowed only one first-half first down and forced a safety to take a 43-0 lead into the half.
More impressive than the offensive explosion was the defense, led by Jacob Williams, who had seven stops on the night — all in the first half as the Greyhounds played its second string for the second half. Six of Hattiesburg’s first 18 plays went for negative yards and only one of the Tigers’ first seven possessions produced a first down.
Greyhounds coach Blake Pennock noted his team was replacing eight starters from last year’s defense. “We challenged them this week to be more physical,” he said. “They are coming alone. Hattiesburg is a good football team. They play very fast.”
On offense, the Greyhounds scored quickly and often behind the arm of Bray Hubbard and the legs of David Humphries. Hubbard finished 7-of-12 for 190 yards and four touchdowns. Humphries added 124 yards on 15 carries and two scores. Neither played in the second half.
“We had good offensive balance tonight,” Pennock said. “We wanted go get Humpries going tonight. And, I was happy with that balance. We are starting to develop out identity as a football team.”
Pennock also noted the game allowed him to get extensive playing time for his backup players. “It would not be very smart of me to get some of my main guys hurt up by 40 points,” he said. :It’s good to get the backups playing time early in the season.”
For Hattiesburg coach Tony Vance, Friday’s night performance was a nightmare.
“It was ugly,” he said. “We came out flat and didn’t play with any intensity. We are a much better football team than that. We started with a total lack of enthusiasm and were lackadaisical.”
And Vance noted the game leaves Hattiesburg with all of its goals still on the table. “It’s a preseason game,” he said. “We try to get better each week — although, I don’t think we did that tonight. The regular season, district games, are still a few weeks away.”
Ocean Springs’ Evan McNally caught three passes for 73 yards and touchdowns of 40 and 29 yards. Holton White also grabbed three Hubbard passes for 72 yards and a 43 yard score. John Paul Coulter had a single catch for a 45 yard score.
Matthew Adams snagged all seven of the Tigers’ completed passes for 101 yards.Tavares Wade scored Hattiesburgs’ only touchdown, powering in from 5 yards out in the third quarter.