Photo/Kevin Williamson

The Stringer Red Devils came into Friday night’s scrap against Sacred Heart of Hattiesburg averaging just over 33 points per game.

The Red Devils eclipsed their average with 6:37 still left on the clock in the second quarter when senior running back Anthony Thomas scampered 85 yards nearly as fast as a hungry catfish swallows a Catawba worm. Thomas’ run gave the host team a 34-0 advantage over the Crusaders.

Stringer went on the beat Sacred Heart, 48-16.

Earlier in the game, before the ball hardly had time to get wet from the dew, Thomas had given Stringer a 7-0 lead when he grabbed an interception and raced to the end zone on a second-and-nine play by the Crusaders from their own 27. Only 53 seconds had elapsed from the game clock.

Later, at the 4:51 mark of the first quarter, Cooper Rogers capped a 10-play, 85-yard drive with a 1-yard burst, giving Stringer their second TD of the evening. Rogers set up the TD run on the previous play when he rambled 27 yards on a first down play from the 28.

The Stringer defense came up with a big play on Sacred Heart’s next series, recovering a loose ball that the officials ruled was a pass behind the line of scrimmage. The Red Devils found themselves in business at the visitors’ 16 after the turnover, but a false start pushed them back to the 21.

No problem, said Thomas – the senior took the handoff and swept left, covering the entire 21 yards. Hunter Burkeen added the PAT to make the score 21-0 with 3:48 still left in the first.

After forcing Sacred Heart to punt on their ensuing possession, the Red Devils drove 59 yards in seven plays. Omarion Bridges did the honors on the first play of the second quarter, extending Stringer’s cushion to 28-0.

A little over five minutes later, Thomas would add his long dash to the end zone to the scoring stats. The PAT was missed. Stringer’s final scoring drive of the first half covered 62 yards. After a completed pass and personal foul against the Crusaders placed the ball just inside the Sacred Heart 20, quarterback Cayleb Dyess found Keyshaun Dease on a scoring strike to make Sacred Heart’s halftime deficit 41-0.

Stringer coasted in the second half and will begin playoff action next week.

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