The week before Thanksgiving is always an exciting week for some prep football teams across the state of Mississippi. And this year that includes six squads from the “Southern Six” as well.
If a team is playing a game on the Friday before Thanksgiving Day on the following Thursday, it means said team is one win away from another Monday practice and a berth in the South State championship game on Black Friday.
Here are 7 games to keep an eye on in the “Southern 6” this week:
- Pascagoula at Picayune — The Bienville Orthopaedic Sports Medicine Center “Kneed to See” Game of the Week takes place at Lee-Triplett Stadium this week as the Panthers come calling on the Maroon Tide in a rematch from the regular season. This will be Pascagoula’s first trip to Picayune in four seasons, and it marks the third postseason meeting between the two teams in the past 12 years after the teams had never met in the postseason in the first 30 years of the statewide playoff system. Picayunepummelled Pascagoula 51-14 to open. Region 4-6A play the first Friday in October during a torrential downpour.
- Columbia at Pass Christian — The first-ever appearance in the third round of the South State playoffs for the Piartes takes place this week at McDonald Stadium in the Pass as perennial state power Columbia comes to the coast for the second time this season. The Pirates are 0-3 all-time against the Wildcats, and this is the first meeting between the two teams in 15 years, since 2008. Columbia is a perfect 12-0 coming into this one and won the Class 4A state championship just two years ago in 2021. Pass Christian has won more playoff games this season under first-year head coach Jeff Stockstill (2) than the Pirates did in the first 40 years of the statewide playoff system (1). The winner of this game faces the winner of the Poplarville-Lawrence County game next week in the Class 4A South State finals.
- Gautier at Florence — The Gators and the Eagles face off for the first time ever on the football field this week and the match-up comes in the Class 5A South State semifinals. Florence is 8-4 overall, while Gautier is 7-4 due to having an open week on it schedule which the Eagles did not. The teams have two common opponents this season, and both picked up wins over each as Gautie beat Natchez 50-18 last week and defeated Wayne County 49-33 in Region 4-5A play earlier this season while Florence beat Natchez 35-20 three weeks ago and defeated WCHS 36-0 last week.
- Poplarville at Lawrence County — The Hornets are looking to earn a trip to the Class 4A South State championship game for the sixth time in seven seasons after missing out last year. Poplarville is a perfect 5-0 all-time against the Cougars, including hammering LCHS twice in the regular seasons the past two years 47-18 and 46-13 when the two teams both competed in Region 7-4A before PHS moved to Region 8-4A this season. Larence County is 7-5 this season and the Cougars finished second in Region 7-4A behind Columbia, while the Hornets are 9-3 and won the Region 8-4A title. The winner of this game faces the winner of the Pass-Christian game next week in the Class 4A South State finals.
- Resurrection at Velma Jackson — A “Battle amongst Birds” takes place in Camden Friday as the Eagles fly up against the Falcons for the first time ever on the gridiron. The game is a Class 1A South State Semifinal match-up, as VJHS comes in at a perfect 11-0 and the Falcons allowed just 25 points in 10 regular season games. RCS is 9-2 on the season and is in the third round of the state playoffs for the first time since 2017.
- Terry at West Jones — The winner of this rematch from the regular season will face the survivor of the Picayune-Pascagoula game in the Class 6A South State finals next week. A second West Jones win over the Bulldogs this year gives the Mustangs the home-field advantage in the next round no matter who the opponent is. If Terry, which lost 2-0 to WJHS six weeks ago, can pull off the upset, it would travel to Picayune or host Pascagoula.
- Brookhaven at Laurel — The winner of this match-up faces the winner of the Gautier-Florence game in the Class 5A South State finals next week. If Florence wins, it will host next week no matter the opponent. Also, Gautier would be on the road next week no matter who wins this game as well.