by Dave Schroeder - www.twitter.com/GulfSportsDave
Gulfport shocked the state with their 13-4 victory over South Panola Saturday night.
Senior strong safety Rodgick Boose made play after play to keep the Tigers at bay.
He's this week's Domino's High School Player of the Week.
"They had not been beat in 8 years by a Mississippi team in the regular season. That just gave us all the motivation we needed," said Boose. "I knew we had to come in and play a hard game, and we had 2 weeks to prepare for them."
Gulfport faced defending state and national champion south Panola coming off their bye week.
Boose knew for his team to have a chance, he had to do his part to make sure it became a defensive struggle.
"We watched film on them every day to get their tendencies. We knew it was going to be a hard game," Boose said.
With 2 minutes to play, the Admirals defense had proven to be an impenetrable wall.
Gulfport had given up just 2 safeties against a Panola team that averaged 46 points per game last year.
"It went the way I thought it would go, it locked down into a defensive game," said Gulfport head coach Mike Justice.
As the game reached its final minutes, the Admirals held a narrow lead.
"We have to make a stop" Justice said. "It's 6-4, they're in a 3rd down and they're in a bind."
At this critical juncture, Boose made the play of the game.
"Every day we go outside and practice tackle and turnover," Boose explained. "My man stood him up, I just came in for the strip."
After pulling the pigskin loose, Boose ran 69 yards for the game-clinching touchdown.
"I stripped the ball, when I got my hands on it I just knew I was going to score with it, I knew there was nothing I could do with it but score with it," Boose said.
The senior's touchdown sank the Tigers' hopes and put Gulfport back on the Mississippi map.
Boose says he just played his part on a team, a team that has now moved on from it's big win.