It’s hard to believe there are only a few weeks left in the regular season for prep football teams across the state of Mississippi.
It seems like just yesterday when the current season kicked off, but this is now week nine of the 2022 campaign. And as the season grows older, the games get bigger.
Here are 7 games in the “Southern 6” to watch this week:
- East Central at Gautier (Game of the Week) — The Hornets invade the swamp to face the home-standing Gators in the biggest Region 4-5A game this week as well as one of the biggest match-ups in South Mississippi. Just like last week, when Gautier went on the road and knocked off Vancleave in a key league affair, this one pits the high-flying passing attack of the Gators against another pound-it-out ground game from ECHS. Both teams stand 6-1 overall, and GHS is knotted atop the region standings with powerful Picayune at 4-0 while ECHS stands 3-1 in league play with its only loss to the Maroon Tide. The winner of this one has the upper hand in earning an opening-round home playoff game in about four weeks. This marks the 22nd overall meeting between the two Jackson County rivals, and Gautier has a decided 15-6 advantage overall. However, the teams have split the last 6 meetings and the Hornets have won three straight over the Gators meaning that Gautier standout senior quarterback Kaden Irving has never beaten ECHS.
- Stone at Pass Christian — The defacto Region 8-4A championship game takes place in the Pass Friday as the Tomcats come calling on the Pirates. Both teams are 2-0 in league play with two games left. Stone was open last week, while PCHS pulled out a big 24-17 road win over arch-rival Bay High. This will be the 30th meeting overall between the teams, and Stone leads the all-time series 20-7-2. The loser of this game will most likely have to win the final game of the regular season to open the playoffs at home.
- Moss Point at Bay High — Rarely does it happen that two teams nine weeks into the season that have combined for a total of three wins in a total of 16 games is mentioned as a game to watch, but alas here we are. The Tigers head to McCulloch Stadium in the Bay to face the home-standing Tigers in what basically amounts to an elimination game in the Region 8-4A playoff picture. Moss Point is 1-7, but coming off its first win of the year in a 56-35 thumping of Green County in league play as running back Taboris Charles ran for well over 300 yards and four touchdowns in the win. Bay is 0-2 in the region race, and still has to play league-leading Stone on the road next week while this one wraps up the regular season for MPHS. Moss Point is 15-1 overall in this series and hasn’t lost to Bay in 92 years. But, it’s a win and you’re in for either team this week.
- Resurrection at Mount Olive — A key Region 4-1A game in the former stomping grounds of Steve McNair takes place this week as the Eagles face the Pirates. Resurrection stands 5-2 overall and 2-2 in league play, while MOHS checks in at 3-4 overall and 1-3 in region action. However, all three of the Pirates’ losses were to the top three teams in the league, in Taylorsville, Bay Springs and Lumberton. The Eagles have lost to BSHS and LHS, and still have THS to play. A Resurrection win this week and next week over hap-less Enterprise Lincoln before the regular season finale against Taylorsville will in all likelihood assure RCS of a playoff berth no matter what happens against THS. A loss this week, and it’s a much more treacherous road to walk.
- Biloxi at Pascagoula — The Indians come to War Memorial Stadium with the county fair in full force looking for a key Region 4-6A win. Biloxi is in the thick of things in the league race, standing 5-2 overall but more importantly 3-1 in the loop. The Panthers, on the other hand, need a miracle to make it back to the postseason as they are 2-5 overall and 0-4 in region play. Pascagoula lost its first four league games last year, before rallying with three straight wins to close out the year. The Indians can possibly clinch a playoff berth with a win Friday night. This marks the 97th meeting between the two teams all-time, one of the longest-standing series in South Mississippi. The Indians have only played their arch-rival Gulfport more times (98), while this is Pascagoula’s longest-running series on the gridiron. The Panthers lead the all-time series 49-43-4. The teams have split the last four games.
- George County at Picayune — The unbeaten and defending Class 5A state champion Maroon Tide hosts the Rebels in Lee-Triplett Stadium in Region 4-5A play. George County, like Moss Point, is coming off its first win overall as well as its first league win of the season, and in doing so the Rebels kept their very slim playoff hopes alive. A win over Picayune this week is a monumental task, but in all likelihood needed to keep GCHS in postseason contention. Since this series was revived in 2013, after an 11-year absence, Picayune has won all three games as well as holding a 10-6 advantage all-time.
- St. Stanislaus at Perry Central — The Rockachaws head to New Augusta trying to keep pace with perennial state power Jefferson Davis County in the Region 8-3A race, as both teams stand 2-0 in this five-team league. Both SSC and PCHS are coming off region wins, as SSC beat Seminary 38-0 and PCHS knocked off West Marion 42-24. The Bulldogs are 1-1 in league play. This is just the second meeting all-time between the two schools on the football field after SSC took a 33-6 win last week.PCHS quarterback Austin Jones accounted for six touchdowns last week, as he ran for 241 yards with five touchdowns and also had a 75-yard kickoff return for a touchdown.