PASS CHRISTIAN, MS (WLOX) - It may have been hard for Pass Christian to find any positives from their 47-0 week seven loss to East Central, but there was a clear benefit to head coach Casey Wittman.
"The fire inside the kids, they re-committed themselves to get back on track," the head coach said of his Pirates following the loss. "They've got goals themselves of getting to the playoffs and (making) some noise, and I think that East Central kind of just gave them a wake-up call."
After the heart-breaking loss, the Pirates (4-4, 2-1) got right back to work, handing Moss Point a 12-0 shutout loss of their own, thanks in large part to the surprise play of one senior defender.
Defensive end Michael Carlson racked up nine total tackles in the Pirates' shutout effort, nearly doubling his season total up to that point of eleven. However, the humble senior refuses to take the credit for his breakout performance.
"(I) can't really explain the feeling," Carlson said. "It just feels good that I'm being noticed and that my team is being noticed, because that's what is most important to me."
"You can see the maturity," Wittman said of Carlson. "He's worked real hard in the weight room this summer. He really had a game that jumped out, and hopefully the rest of the year, that can continue."
With Carlson's performance, and the bounce-back win, all of the Pirates' goals remain in play: a playoff berth, home-field advantage in the postseason, and - with a little help - a district championship.
"We're trying to doing something that hasn't been done at Pass High in a long time," Carlson said. "We're trying to make it. We're trying to get into the playoffs, we're trying to do everything we can to make our way to the top."'
The Pirates continue their push this Friday when they visit Vancleave.