Changes abound this week in game days as well as kickoff times for many of the teams in our coverage area.
Quite a few games will take place on Thursday, including all four Region 4-6A contests, and all kickoff times across the state of Mississippi will revert back to a 7 p.m., whistle.
Here are 7 games to watch in the “Southern Six” this week:
- East Central at Picayune (Game of the Week) — Two of the final three unbeaten teams in South Mississippi face off in a battle for supremacy atop Region 4-5A Friday at Triplett-Lee Stadium in Pearl River County. Picayune, the defending Class 5A state champions, puts its perfect 6-0 record and 17-game win streak on the line against the Hornets who have started the season 5-0 for the first time in four seasons but the third time in five years. It’s sure to be a battle of bruising and battering ground games, as each team averages over 300 yards rushing per game. With the new 30-minute earlier kickoff time, this one might be over by 8:45 or so and the winner controls its own destiny for the rest of the region race. This is the 10th all-time meeting between the two squads, and the Tide has won seven.
- Ocean Springs at Biloxi (Thursday) — The Greyhounds are the third and final unbeaten team that resides in South Mississippi, but face a home-standing Indian squad that is also off to a quick 2-0 start in Region 4-6A. Biloxi has already raised some eyebrows with its 4-1 start, and could turn many heads with an upset this week. This is the 50th all-time meeting between the two coast rivals, and Ocean Springs has owned the series of late winning five straight and seven of the last game games. But overall, it has been a closely contested series with Biloxi holding a 25-24 advantage.
- Vancleave at George County — The Rebels will try and celebrate Homecoming in search of their first win of the season by welcoming the Bulldogs into Gill-Martin Stadium. Vancleave is coming off its first loss of the season, a 49-7 thumping by Picayune, while GCHS stands 0-5 for the first time in 10 years after a thrilling 50-49 loss on the road in overtime to West Harrison. A crucial game for the postseason hopes for both teams, as another loss for the Rebels all but ensures they’ll miss the playoffs for the fourth time in six seasons while the Bulldogs didn’t qualify last season. This marks just the 7th meeting all-time between the teams.
- D’Iberville at Pascagoula (Thursday) — Another meeting between a pair of teams dangerously close to dropping out of the playoff picture takes place at War Memorial Stadium in Region 4-6A action. Both the Panthers and the Warriors stand 0-2 in league play, and neither can ill afford another loss in the loop. These teams have faced off 10 times total all time, and DHS has easily controlled the series going 7-3 overall and winning six out of the past seven games. Both teams stand 0-2 in region play after road losses last week, PHS at Gulfport and DHS at Ocean Springs.
- West Harrison at Gautier — A pair of teams right in the thick of the Region 4-5A race square off in Wallace Stadium on the campus of Gautier High School as the Gators welcome in the Hurricanes with each coming off league wins. WHHS is off to its first 4-1 start in program history, and the Hurricanes have never had a winning season and have never qualified for the state football playoffs in the 14-year history of the program. These teams have met 11 times overall, and as one might assume Gautier has ruled the series winning 10 of those contests including the last eight games. But, the only WHHS win ever over GHS came in 2011, which was the most successful season ever for the team when it finished 5-6 and just barely missed the postseason.
- Greene County at Stone — First place is on the line Friday in Wiggins in Region 8-4A as the Tomcats host the Wildcats. Stone smacked Moss Point 45-18 last week to open league play as Daylon Collins ran for 226 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Meanwhile, GCHS got 181 yards rushing and three touchdowns from K.J. Miller in the Wildcats’ 48-34 win over Bay High to kick off region action and quarterback Coby King accounted for four scores as he went 14-of-23 passing for 236 yards with a pair of scoring strikes and he also ran for two scores. Stone has won 10 times in 11 all-time meetings between the two teams.
- West Marion at St. Stanislaus — One of the final two teams in the “Southern Six” to start region play is the Rock-A-Chaws, and after six weeks they’ll do just that Friday night hosting WMHS in Brother Phillip Memorial Stadium in Region 8-3A play. SSC stands 3-3 on the year after Chandler Chapman’s impressive performance last week in a 38-20 win over Lakeshore (La.) Chapman had 32 carries for 314 yards and three touchdowns offensively and he also had an interception on defense in the win.