Although most prep football teams in South Mississippi are as much as halfway through their regular season schedules, their respective region campaigns are still relatively young.
However, with league play now underway for all six classifications across the state, the region races have begun to take shape a bit already.
A trio of unbeaten teams remain in our coverage area while a quartet are still win-less.
Here are 7 things we noticed in the “Southern Six” Friday night:
- Still rolling — Defending Class 5A state champion Picayune handled home-standing Vancleave 49-7 in a battle of previously unbeaten Region 4-5A squads. Maroon Tide senior standout running back Dante Dowdell tallied a trio of touchdown runs, including one from 97-yards out, and raced for 244 yards rushing as Picayune moved to 6-0 overall and won its 17th straight game.
- Still rolling (part 2) — Ocean Springs won its 15th consecutive regular season game with an easy 40-0 thumping of D’Iberville in Region 4-6A action. Senior stalwart quarterback Bray Hubbard, an Alabama commit, accounted for all six touchdowns as he ran for two scores and threw for four more as the Greyhounds raced out to a 27-0 halftime advantage and never looked back. Head coach Blake Pennock’s squad, now 5-0, is aiming for its second straight perfect 10-0 regular season finish. The Greyhound defense, meanwhile, posted its second shutout of the season as Keyshawn Thomas registered 15 tackles and Trace Carter recorded 11 total stops.
- Still rolling (part 3) — East Central is off to a 5-0 start for the first time in four years but also the third time in five seasons after bouncing win-less Pearl River Central 47-12 on the road at Hendrix Stadium in Carriere. The Hornets, however, did make a bit of history under new head coach Sam Huff as ECHS is now in its 12th ever season of play in Class 5A and this is the first time they’ve ever started a season in that classification 5-0 as terrific back Eli Smith ran for just over 180 yards and three touchdowns.
- Gator country — Gautier pummeled win-less Long Beach 55-6 in Region 4-5A play as the Gators raced out to a quick 35-0 lead after the first quarter and coasted to the easy road win. Gators senior stand-out signal-caller Kaden Irving enjoyed yet another outstanding outing, as he accounted for four scores and M.J. Cunningham ran for a pair of touchdowns as well. The Gators stand 4-1 overall and have won four straight since an inexplicable season-opening loss to Jackson Provine.
- Bouncing back — A pair of Gulf Coast schools located in the “228” that almost couldn’t be further apart in distance and classification bounced back with big wins after starting region play off each with respective losses last week. In Class 6A, Hancock traveled from the Kiln to St. Martin and pulled out an impressive 35-21 win in Region 4-6A play, as Hawks quarterback Dylan Moran threw a pair of scoring strikes and Hancock tailback Zach Gullong ran for 197 yards and tallied a pair of short scoring runs as well. Meanwhile, Resurrection returned home to Pascagoula and clobbered Salem 58-6 in Region 8-1A action.
- Rivals roll — Longtime arch-rivals Gulfport and Biloxi stayed on track in Region 4-6A play as both moved to 2-0 in the region race with wins. Gulfport got five rushing touchdowns from four different backs, including a pair from Emmanual Bentley, in knocking off visiting Pascagoula 41-24. Meanwhile, the Indians went on the road and produced a workman-like 21-7 win over home-standing Harrison Central in Lyman as Indian quarterback Zach Marlin ran for one touchdown and threw for another in the win.
- Slip Slidin’ away — Two of the four win-less teams in our area have already been mentioned in Long Beach and PRC, but Moss Point and George County are also on that list. The Rebels fell to 0-5 for the first time in ten years in a thrilling 50-49 road loss to West Harrison in Region 4-5A action, while the Tigers celebrated (?) Homecoming by falling 45-18 to Stone in Region 8-4A play and now stand 0-6 for just the third time in 70 years (but the second in nine seasons). There is one other team, in addition to that quartet, that has lost at least five straight games and that’s D’Iberville, which fell to 1-5 with its loss to OSHS.