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228 Sports: (A Look Ahead) 7 prep games to watch this week

August 26, 2022: Moss Point Ryan Smith (7) scrambles out of the pocket during Friday’s game between the Moss Point Tigers and Pascagoula Panthers at War Memorial Stadium in Pascagoula, Mississippi. Photo: Bobby McDuffie/228 Sports

The playoffs are already here for a quintet of teams in the “Southern Six” this week, while eight other squads will wrap up their regular season this week secure in the knowledge that they have already ensured themselves of postseason spots as well.

And then there’s Resurrection, whose state playoff possibilities seemed almost null and void just five days ago, but now seem much more likely.

With postseason possibilities in mind, here are 7 games in the “Southern 6” to keep an eye on this week:

  1. Taylorsville at Resurrection — There will be in all probability a three-way tie for the fourth and final playoff spot in Region 4-1A when the dust settles Thursday night and the regular season concludes. The Eagles, once thought to have screwed the pooch for postseason consideration, may now instead be the underdog moving forward as the playoffs begin. There are NUMEROUS equations in play here, and an RCS win Friday over a pretty powerful Tartar team is the easiest scenario to picture because a win and your in is in play. However, that’s not likely to happen. So just remember this: if RCS loses, and both Mt. Olive and Richton win thus creating the aforementioned three-way log jam, then the Eagles are in.
  2. Forrest County AHS at Moss Point — In yet another strange scenario, Moss Point becomes one of the few teams in the history of the statewide playoff system in the state of Mississippi to host a playoff game after winning only two games total in a season. Yes, you read that right…after starting the season 0-7 the Tigers won their final two Region 8-4A games to finish 2-7 overall but 2-2 in league play and earned the right to host an opening round game Friday night on Dantzler Street. The Aggies stand 6-4 overall, and finished 2-3 in Region 7-4A action and rallied to win a tie-breaker for one of the final two postseason slots by winning their last two games over Sumrall and Purvis.
  3.  Sumrall at Stone — Sumrall tied with FCAHS and Lawrence County for third in Region 7-4A, and thanks to their recent loss to the Aggies the Bobcats wound up as the fourth seed and head to Wiggins Friday night to face the Region 8-4A champion Tomcats. Stone won its first district title on the gridiron since 1994, and now head coach John Feaster’s crew looks for its first postseason win since a victory over West Jones in the first round five years ago. Since 1993, the Tomcats have gone one and done in the playoffs 10 out of its past 11 trips.
  4. Gautier at Picayune (Game of the Week) — The showdown for the Region 4-5A championship takes place Thursday at Lee-Triplett Stadium as the unbeaten and defending Class 5A state champion Maroon Tide hosts the upset-minded Gators. Picayune stands 10-0 overall and 6-0 in league play and puts its school-record 21-game win streak on the line in this one. Gautier stands 8-1, is also 6-0 in the region race and is on an eight-game win streak itself after a season-opening loss on the road to Jackson Provine.
  5. Gulfport at Biloxi — Second place is on the line in Region 4-6A action Thursday night as this long-time rivalry is renewed in Harrison County. Ocean Springs wrapped up its second consecutive league crown with a big win over the Admirals last week, and Biloxi’s win over Hancock on the same night knotted these two teams up at 5-1 in region play. The winner gets the second seed and will host a home Class 6A state playoff game next week, while the loser gets the third seed and hits the road next week. Despite its loss to these Indians last week, Hancock wrapped up the fourth seed. This is the 100th all-time meeting between these schools on the gridiron.
  6. Vancleave at East Central — A pair of squads that rely heavily on the ground game square off for third place in Region 4-5A Thursday night in Hurley-Wade. Both teams stand 4-2 in league play and have secured playoff berths, and each will be on the road next week as the Class 5A playoffs begin. This game will decide who travels as the third seed and which is the fourth seed. This is the 62nd all-time meeting between these two long-time rivals, marking the longest ongoing series for both the Hornets and the Bulldogs.
  7. Pass Christian at Poplarville — The home-standing Hornets open the postseason by hosting the Pirates Friday night. Pass Christian finished fourth in Region 8-4A, while Poplarville captured its fifth Region 7-4A crown in the past seven seasons. The Hornets knocked off defending Class 4A state champion and defending Region 7-4A champ Columbia a few weeks back to earn the top seed again. This is a rematch from the fifth week of the season when the Hornets dispatched the Pirates 42-7, a game that also took place in Poplarville.


Written by Curtis Rockwell

Curtis has almost three decades of experience at four different daily newspapers across South Mississippi, specializing in Sports and live Music.


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