It’s hard to believe there are only a few weeks left in the regular season for most prep football teams across the state of Mississippi. And in some cases, even less than that for others.
It seems like just yesterday when the current season kicked off, but this is now week 10 of the 2022 campaign. With the number of games dwindling, that means that for most teams the remaining games take on even more important as the race for the state playoffs elevates.
Here are 7 games in the “Southern 6” to watch this week:
- Gulfport at Ocean Springs (Game of the Week) — The showdown for all the marbles in Region 4-6A takes place Friday at Hugh Pepper Field, as the unbeaten and defending league champion Greyhounds host the Admirals. Both squads stand 5-0 in region play, and OSHS (8-0) is in the midst of a school-record 18-game regular season winning streak. Gulfport is rolling as well, at 8-1 overall with the only loss coming to powerful Picayune, so something has to give this week. This marks the 31st meeting all-time between the two teams, and although OSHS has won the past two contests Gulfport has dominated the all-time series winning 21 of the 30 games.
- West Harrison at Vancleave — Three teams are battling for the final two playoff spots in Region 4-5A, and these are two of them. The Bulldogs host the Hurricanes in a key league affair with many playoff implications on the line Friday night. Vancleave sits 3-2 in the region race with WHHS a game behind at 2-3. The Hurricanes, in the midst of one of their most successful seasons on the gridiron ever, in all likelihood need a win this week to have a chance at qualifying for the state playoffs for the first time in the 14-year history of the program. A Bulldog win assures them of a playoff berth for the fourth time in five seasons. Vancleave linebacker Kyle Capers recorded 15 tackles and had a 58-yard interception return for a touchdown in Vancleave’s 44-17 win over Pearl River Central last week. John Peterson ran for 191 yards and three touchdowns as well, while quarterback Hunter Parker added a pair of scoring runs as well.
- Hancock at Biloxi — An important clash in Harrison County between the visiting Hawks and home-standing Indians has big ramifications in Region 4-6A Friday night. Hancock sits 6-3 overall and 3-2 in the loop, while the Indians are a game better at 6-2 overall and 4-1 in the race. A win by the Hawks either this week or in the regular season finale against Pascagoula next week to wrap up the regular season will hoist Hancock into the postseason. With a win this week, the Indians would be playing arch-rival Gulfport next week for a possible chance to host an opening-round Class 6A state playoff game.
- George County at East Central — The Hornets stand 3-2 in Region 4-5A, and in all likelihood need one win in their final two games to secure a return to the postseason for a school record 8th consecutive season. The Rebels are in prime position to miss the playoffs for the ninth time in the past 12 seasons. George County, 1-4 in the loop, needs two wins to close out the regular season and then all types of mathematical help to stay alive.
- Pass Christian at Greene County — These two teams close out the regular season in Leakesville Thursday night in a key Region 8-4A contest. A win by the Pirates secures the mateys an opening round home playoff game next week. But A Wildcat win throws the final three spots in the region race into a three-way tie between these two teams and Moss Point all at 2-2 in the loop. Stone, which plays Bay High Thursday night, has won the league title. Moss Point, which is off this week, secured a playoff bid with a big win over Bay High last week meaning that Bay will not be in the playoffs. A GCHS win by this week gives MPHS the number two seed, the Wildcats the third spot and PCHS the fourth.
- Jefferson Davis County at St. Stanislaus — Much like the game in Ocean Springs Friday for all the marbles in the largest classification, this battle for supremacy in Region 8-3A takes place a day earlier at Brother Phillip Memorial Stadium in Bay St. Louis. Both the Rock-a-chaws and JDC stand at 3-0 in league play and both are already assured of opening round home games in the upcoming Class 3A state playoffs. Jefferson Davis County is the three time defending Class 3A state champion.
- Sumrall at Poplarville — The Hornets wrapped up a school record 11th straight state playoff berth last week with an exciting 20-18 road win on the road against defending Class 4A state champion Columbia. Poplarville will close out the regular season with this meeting against the Bobcats Thursday night before opening the Class 4A state playoffs at home next week.