A few teams continued to solidify their push towards hosting a first-round state playoff game Friday night, while yet a few others may have been pushed past the point of postseason rescue as well.
As we approach Halloween, things are getting interesting in prep football circles across South Mississippi.
Here are 7 things we noticed in the “Southern Six” Friday night:
- Gifted Gators — Gautier once again displayed its skillful offensive weaponry in a big 56-35 Region 4-5A win over East Central. Quarterback Kaden Irving accounted for eight touchdowns for the second consecutive week, throwing for six scores and running for another pair. He hooked up with both Dillion Alfred and A.J. Phillips for a pair of scoring strikes each, as the Gators overcame an early deficit and broke open a 35-35 tie with 21 unanswered points in the fourth frame. The win sets up the battle for the league championship in two weeks in a showdown with unbeaten Picayune. The Maroon Tide thumped George County 56-7 to move to 5-0 in the region along with the Gators.
- .Close call — Poplarville wrapped up its sixth district title in the past nine years under head coach Jay Beech as the Hornets knocked off defending Class 4A state champion Columbia 20-18 on the road in Region 7-4A action. The Hornets are looking to extend their school-record streak of appearing in a seventh straight Class 4A South State championship game. Poplarville wraps up its regular season Thursday with a home game against Sumrall.
- Playoff bound — For the second time in nine seasons, Moss Point has qualified for the state playoffs after winning just two games in the regular season. The Tigers went on the road to Hancock County and spanked home-standing Bay High 54-13 in Region 8-4A play, and in doing so secured one of the four playoff berths in the five-team loop. Quarterback Ryan Smith had three touchdown tosses, a pair to Kevon Ford, and tailback Taborious Charles ran for a trio of scores as well as MPHS won its second straight game after a tumultuous 0-7 start. The Tigers have an open date this week as the regular season wraps up in Class 4A, and will await the outcome of this week’s games to see where they’ll start the playoffs.
- Top Tomcats — Speaking of Region 8-4A, Stone captured its first district title in almost 30 years as the Tomcats went on the road and hammered home-standing Pass Christian 38-0 to secure the league crown. Head Coach John Feaster’s crew jumped out to a quick 31-0 first-half lead, thanks to a trio of touchdowns by quarterback Connor Tice, and never looked back in the key region contest.
- Region rumblings — The Region 4-6A playoff race took on a bit of a better shape, as both Ocean Springs and Gulfport picked up wins to remain on course for a match-up to decide the league winner this week. The Greyhounds remained unbeaten at 8-0 overall and 5-0 in league play with a 49-24 dis-mantling of St. Martin, while the Admirals moved to 7-1 and 5-0 by knocking off a disappointing D’Iberville squad 40-21. Also, both Hancock and Biloxi took huge steps toward locking up playoff berths in the middle of the race. Biloxi’s Tristan Borcy booted a 37-yard field goal with just over a minute to play as the Indians knocked off Pascagoula 15-14. Meanwhile, the Hawks controlled the ball for most of the second half and pulled out a 14-10 come-from-behind win over visiting Harrison Central. Hancock travels to Biloxi this week.
- Rolling Rocks — St. Stanislaus locked up a home playoff game in the opening round of the upcoming Class 3A state playoffs with a 34-14 win over Perry Central in Region 8-3A action. The decision sets up a winner-take-all contest for the league title with three-time defending Class 3A state champion and perennial state power Jefferson Davis County this week at Brother Phillip Memorial Stadium in the Bay as the regular season wraps up in that classification around the state.
- Wings clipped — It wasn’t a banner day for Resurrection athletics away from the Gulf Coast Friday. First of all, the RCS Lady Eagles volleyball team saw an impressive run to the state championship come up just a bit short, falling to Ingomar in the title tilt 3 sets to none earlier in the day. Then, later that night, the Eagles’ football team suffered a severe blow to their postseason hopes suffering a 22-15 loss to home-standing Mt. Olive in a key Region 4-1A game with key playoff implications for both squads.