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228 Sports: (Rock’s Locks) Picking 7 prime prep games

September 23, 2022: Biloxi Chase Delaughter (1) finds running room during the Biloxi versus DÕIberville game at D'Iberville Stadium in DÕIberville, Mississippi. Photo: Bobby McDuffie/228 Sports

Hog, meet acorn.

That has to be the only explanation for another outstanding week for Rock’s Locks. The ole’ prep pigskin prognosticator got at least 10 games right for the third straight week, going an impressive 11-2 last week after picking 10 out of 13 correctly the week before.

The state playoffs are on the horizon, and we, like several local teams, seem to be rounding into shape at just the right time.

Rock’s Locks went 11-2 last week, and now stands 79-25 on the season for an overall winning percentage of 77 percent.

And the caravan is on its way, I can hear the merry gypsies play…

  1. East Central at Gautier (Game of the Week) — A HUGE Region 4-5A contest takes place at Vaughn-Wallace Stadium on the campus of Gautier High School as the Hornets invade The Swamp to face the home-standing Gators. The winner of this one almost assures itself of an opening round Class 5A home game when the state playoffs kick off in three weeks, and a win for Gautier more than likely sets up a league title tilt between the Gators and unbeaten Picayune in the regular season finale. This one pits the high-flying passing attack of the Gators against the pound-it-out ground game from ECHS, much the same scenario that Gautier faced on the road against Vancleave last week. Both teams stand 6-1 overall, as GHS has won six straight since a season-opening loss and the Hornet’s only blemish was a loss to the aforementioned Maroon Tide. Man, this is a tough one to call. I guess I’ll give a slight, but very shaky nod, to the home team. Gautier 28, East Central 27.
  2. Harrison Central at Hancock — One of two big prep games in Hancock County this week with major playoff implications, and this one pits the Hawks hosting the Red Rebels at Brett Favre Field in an important Region 4-6A game. A win for either team allows it to control its own destiny for postseason hopes. The Hawks bounced back into the postseason discussions with a big win over D’Iberville on the road last week. The teams are tied for the fourth and final playoff spot in the league standings at 2-2. This is the 33rd all-time meeting between these neighboring county schools, and HCHS has won 21 of the 32 games played. We think the Red Rebels’ athleticism will prevail this week. Harrison Central 27, Hancock 23.
  3. Moss Point at Bay High — The second of the pair of important contests in Hancock County this week takes place at McCullough Stadium in the Bay as the home-standing Tigers host the visiting Tigers from Jackson County. Neither team has found much success on the field this season, as both have combined for just three total wins in 16 total games played so far. However, it’s basically “a win and you’re in game” almost as far as the playoff picture in Region 8-4A goes for both of these bands of Tigers this week. Moss Point is 1-7 overall and 1-2 in the region race, and Bay stands 2-5 overall and 0-2 in the league. This marks the regular season finale for MPHS, as they have an open date next week. Bay has league-leading Stone left to play. An MPHS win and the Tigers that call Dantzler St., home will make the playoffs with just two wins in a season for the second time in nine years. Moss Point 26, Bay High 12.
  4.  Resurrection at Mt. Olive — Another game important to each team to remain in the race for a fourth and final playoff berth in its region takes place in the late, great Steve McNair’s former stomping grounds. Resurrection stands 5-2 overall and 2-2 in league play, while the Pirates check in at 3-4 overall and 1-3 in region action. A win by the Eagles this week coupled with another next week over lowly Enterprise Lincoln at home assures RCS of a playoff berth no matter what happens against mighty Taylorsville in the regular season finale. We think they’ll get it…Resurrection 31, Mt. Olive 21.
  5. Stone at Pass Christian — The defacto Region 8-4A championship game takes place in the Pass Friday, as the Tomcats come calling on the Pirates. Both teams are 2-0 in league play with two games left. Stone was open last week, while PCHS pulled out a big 24-17 road win over arch-rival Bay High. The loser of this game will most likely have to win the final game of the regular season to open the playoffs at home, while the winner controls its own destiny and would just need another win next week to wrap up the region title with a perfect league mark. Stone 21, Pass Christian 20.
  6. Biloxi at Pascagoula — The fair is in town and the visiting Indians can possibly celebrate a playoff berth with a win Friday night in War Memorial Stadium over the home-standing Panthers in Region 4-6A play in what is one of the longest-running annual rivalries in all of South Mississippi. This marks the 97th meeting between the two teams all-time, making Biloxi the longest-tenured opponent for PHS in the history of the football program. The Indians have only played their arch-rival Gulfport more times (98). Biloxi seems to be in better shape heading into this one. Biloxi 30, Pascagoula 28. 
  7. Columbia at Poplarville — One of the most anticipated games in South Mississippi as well as the entire state takes place in Pearl River County as a pair of perennial Class 4A state powers face off in the defacto Region 7-4A championship game as the Hornets host the Wildcats. Both squads stand an impressive 7-1 on the season, with Poplarville’s only loss coming to defending Class 5A state champion Picayune in the opening week of the season and Columbia’s only blemish a loss to Defending Class 3A state champ Jefferson Davis County a month ago. This one should be quite the barn-burner, y’all. Poplarville 37, Columbia 35.

A six pack to go:

Picayune 45, George County 7

Ocean Springs 42, St. Martin 6

St. Stanislaus 33, Perrry Central 13

West Harrison 40, Long Beach 10

Vancleave 37, Pearl Central Central 12

Gulfport 35, D’Iberville 14


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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