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Bobcats stop Pirates for homecoming victory

BOGUE CHITTO – A spectacular fireworks display at the conclusion of halftime ceremonies highlighted the introduction of Bogue Chitto’s homecoming court Friday night on steamy Troy Smith Field. Bobcat return man James Blackwell provided the final explosion with a 78-yard kickoff return to start the second half, sparking the Bobcats to a 28-6 Region 4-1A win over the Mount Olive Pirates.

     Bogue Chitto (3-0), ranked No. 1 in the Associated Press Class 1A Prep Poll, played well enough to win the game for Homecoming queen Lauren Wallace. Senior wide receiver Germie Martin participated in the halftime ceremony and wore a white rose bud on his right shoulder pad. He wound up catching 4 passes for 35 yards, including a 19-yard TD toss from quarterback Brock Roberts.

     “We played like it was a homecoming game,” said BC coach Gareth Sartin, reviewing and totaling the statistics for the contest. “It was sloppy but we will take it. It was  our first region game and that makes us 1-0.”

     Sartin complimented his team’s defensive performance that limited the Pirates to 80 yards total offense. “Our defense played well. We don’t have it clicking on offense yet. Mount Olive is a good defensive team and I knew it wouldn’t be easy to score on them.”

     The Pirates took a 6-0, first-quarter lead on a 2-yard run by quarterback Zarrick Jenkins. It was an 8-play, 42-yard drive after the Pirates stopped Roberts short of first down yardage on a bold, fourth-down play.

     Bogue Chitto’s rugged defense shut the Pirates down the rest of the game. Meanwhile, Brandon Wells got the offense rolling with a 14-yard scoring sweep. Blackwell’s 2-point conversion run gave the hosts an 8-6 lead with 7:48 left in the half.

     Martin’s TD pass from Roberts and Cameron Price’s PAT kick gave the hosts a 15-6 halftime lead.

     Blackwell said he made a prediction to Wells, prior to the second-half kickoff. “I told Brandon, ‘The first time they kick it to me, I’m taking it to the house.'”

     Still dazzled by the halftime fireworks, the partisan crowd roared their approval as Blackwell returned the kickoff for a TD.

     “I got some good blocking on the kickoff,” said Blackwell. “We played OK on defense. Our goal was not to get scored on.”

     BC’s first two victories of the season had been shutouts of Loyd Star and Enterprise.

     Mount Olive’s punting game was woeful at best. Jenkins twice launched low punts that hit the backside of the blocking backs. Both bungles led to BC touchdowns.

     The Bobcats took over at MO’s 11-yard line after the second bad punt. Big Jermaine Blackwell (5-10, 220, jr.) wearing jersey No. 60, moved from guard to tailback for the final TD. He broke tackles on both carries, going 8 yards for the TD. It was 28-6 with 8:00 minutes left in the game.

     The Pirates, who won back-to-back Class 1A state championships in 2009-10, didn’t attempt a pass against the Bobcats.

     Mount Olive coach Perry Murphy said his team’s punting game was terrible at best. “Obviously, our punting game is bad.

     “Bogue Chitto has a really good offense. They have three or four good ones. They can play power football.”

     The Bobcats got 11 tackles from Jermaine Blackwell.  Jeremy and James Blackwell made 10 tackles apiece. Damien Terrell had 8 tackles and a sack.

     Sartin’s Bobcats will play a rare Saturday night game Sept. 15, when they tackle Resurrection Catholic on Pascagoula High School’s field. Kickoff is 7:30.