Week two of the prep football season featured several South Mississippi teams remaining unbeaten, while others were able to earn their first win of the year and one of those from Jackson County did so in impressive fashion.
Here are seven things in the “Southern Six” we noticed Friday night:
- Three is a magic number — At least that’s the case for Gautier standout quarterback Kaden Irving and his Gator teammates when it comes to playing in the annual “Singing River Classic” against rival Pascagoula. Irving threw four touchdown tosses and scampered for another, as Gautier rolled past the Panthers 47-6. Two of Irving’s scoring strikes went to senior classmate and favorite target Aaron “AJ” Phillips. It was the third consecutive win in the series for the Gators, as Irving, Phillips and the Gautier seniors will leave campus never having lost to Pascagoula.
- Eight is better — In the second of two big showdowns featuring Jackson County teams, East Central recorded an equally as impressive win as Gautier as the Hornets hammered home-standing Moss Point 31-6. East Central got scoring runs from Eli Smith, Andrew Marble and Ben Myrick to take a commanding lead in the first half and never looked back. The win moves new head coach Sam Huff to 2-0 on the season, while Moss Point dropped to 0-2. It marked the eighth straight win for ECHS over MPHS.
- Twice is nice — Another new head coach in Jackson County, Resurrection’s Eric Denmark, also stands 2-0 after two weeks of play as his Eagles went on the road to Eatonville and knocked off North Forrest 31-6. It marked the second straight 30 point game for RCS under Denmark’s guidance, after registering a 35-0 win over St. Patrick last week. Daniel Pickens ran for 108 yards, including a 46 yard scoring scamper, in the win for the Eagles.
- Hub City Hounds — Ocean Springs won its 12th consecutive regular season game Friday night with a 35-6 thumping of Hattiesburg at D.I. Patrick Stadium on the campus of Hattiesburg High. Sophomore running back Will Smith Jr. ran for 152 yards and three touchdowns in the win, while J.P. Coulter returned the opening kickoff 85 yards for a score and also hauled in a 37-yard scoring strike from Bray Hubbard. The Greyhound defense stood tall as OSHS moved to 2-0 on the season.
- Gone with the wind — In what we billed as the “Game of the Week” on the coast, homestanding D’Ibeville fell in thrilling fashion to Laurel as the Golden Tornadoes blew out of town with a 43-42 win. The Warriors scored a touchdown with just a little over a minute to play to cut the deficit to the final score, but a two point conversion failed and then Laurel recovered the ensuing on-side kick to seal the win. It marked just the third all-time meeting between the teams, the first ever in the regular season, and the first in 30 years since 1992.
- Bulldog blitz — Vancleave stands 2-0 for the first time in four years after a scintillating second half comeback produced an exciting 20-19 road win over home-standing Hancock High at Brett Favre Field. The Hawks took a 19-0 lead in the second quarter, and led 19-7 at halftime. Vancleave senior standout tailback John Peterson carried the ball 50 times for just over 250 yards and all three Bulldog scores, and the VHS defense tossed a shutout in the second half to secure the win.
- Sunshine State split — A pair of local teams took on opponents from Florida Friday night, as Gulfport beat visiting Escambia County 26-15 at historic Milner Stadium and St. Martin fell on the road to Pace High 38-18. The Admirals scored a pair of touchdowns in the final four minutes of the game to pull out the come from behind win and stay unbeaten at 2-0, while the Yellow Jackets got three touchdown tosses from quarterback D.K. Jenkins, two of those going to Noreel White, in dropping their first game of the young season.