PORT ST. JOE – Rocky Bayou Christian ran onto rocky ground Friday night at Shark Field.
The host Class 1A Tiger Sharks dominated every phase of the game en route to their third-straight victory, a 42-10 beat down of the independent Knights (2-5).
Port St. Joe (4-2) held Rocky Bayou to just 109 total yards while 12 different Tiger Sharks racked up just over 300 yards of total offense for the Tiger Sharks, who took control of the game during a four-minute period when they had the scoreboard spinning like a pinball game.
“We have played some really physical teams the first part of the season, and give Rocky Bayou credit, they played hard and did a good job, but it was nice to have a game where we had a chance to play a lot of kids and some of the young players got to see action,” said Port St. Joe coach Chuck Gannon.
“We have had a really good week of practice. This is a great group to coach. They work hard and understand what we have to do to be successful. We are improving every week, which is what you want.”
The entire first half was played in the Rocky Bayou end of the field and Port St. Joe took full advantage of it from its opening possession.
A short punt allowed the Tiger Sharks to begin on offense at the Knight 39 and just six plays later Dusty Richter (59 rushing yards) picked up a dropped lateral wide right and sprinted down the sideline to score from the Rocky Bayou 18.
The teams traded possession until with 2:56 left in the period, a low snap went past Rocky Bayou quarterback Tyler Paskell and Jarkeice Davis recovered the ball at the 6. Davis barreled up the middle for those yards on the next play, Justin Hites’ kick failed and it was 13-0.
On the Knights’ next play from scrimmage, Levi Derry fumbled and Dallas Burke recovered at the 17 for Port St. Joe. Natron Lee (a game-high 62 rushing yards) covered that on the following play and Hites made it 20-0.
Three plays later, a Rocky Bayou fumble on the snap exchange resulted in Port St. Joe taking over at the Knight 21. Love scored from the 12 three plays later and Hites made it 27-0.
On the ensuing possession, the Knights went nowhere from their 20 and another short punt followed.
On the following play, Port St. Joe’s Jak Riley found open space down the left sideline on a pitch play for a 34-yard touchdown, completing a span of four minutes during which the Tiger Sharks scored four touchdowns while executing just six offensive plays from scrimmage.
Drew Kilpatrick got Rocky Bayou on the board with a 22-yard field goal with 5:31 left in the half, finishing a drive that saw the Knights earn their first down and cross midfield for the first time.
But minutes later, Davis tackled Paskell in the end zone after yet another low snap for a safety and the halftime score was 36-3.
Rocky Bayou was held to minus rushing yards for the half while Port St. Joe racked up 167 rushing yards and 183 yards total.
Port St. Joe started the second half at its 44 and needed just three plays before Davis bolted right, reversed left and dashed 25 yards for a touchdown, Hites adding the Tiger Sharks final points.
With the clock running continuously in the fourth quarter, the Knights drove 69 yards for a touchdown, Paskell hitting Nathan McCullough on a 9-yard post pattern.
Port St. Joe hosts Tallahassee FAMU at 7:30 p.m. ET next Friday.