It’s time to let the big dogs eat.
And as the calendar turns to October, all prep football teams in the three largest classifications in the state of Mississippi, Class 7A, Class 6A and Class 5A, begin region play this week.
This week also marks the first-ever league action in Class 7A in the state of Mississippi, as well as here in the “Southern 6”.
Here are 7 games in the “Southern 6” to keep an eye on this week:
- Picayune at Pascagoula — This game has been marked on many calendars across South Mississippi since expansion and reclassification took place last season. The two-time defending Class 5A state champion Mroon Tide moved up to Class 6A this season, and the Panthers remained in that same classification. Region 4-6A, on paper at least, seems to be one of the most competitive leagues in the state. Picayune was the clear-cut favorite to take the region crown in the pre-season, but the Maroon Tide hasn’t lived up to those lofty expectations just yet. And, fourth year Picayune head coach Cody Stogner has never beaten the Panthers, who mastered the Maroon Tide 42-35 three years ago in the last meeting between these long-time rivals.
- Biloxi at Gulfport — For the first time in 42 years, perennial arch-rivals Gulfport and Biloxi will not close out the regular season against one another. Instead, the Indians and Admirals will face off in this FRIDAY night to open the first-ever Region 4-7A schedule for each team. The Admirals have lost three straight games under first-year head coach Blake Pennock, and both teams enter the “second season” of their respective schedules with fairly medical overall marks as GHS is 2-3 and BHS is 3-3 after a win over LeFlore High last week.
- Poplarville at Pass Christian — A BIG battle in early Region 8-4A play takes place THURSDAY night at McDonald Stadium in The Pass, as both the Pirates and Hornets enter this game with 1-0 league marks after opening region play with road wins last week. The Pirates stand 5-1 for the first time in 22 years, since 2001, under new head coach Jeff Stockstill, and perennial Class 4A South State power Poplarville is looking to return to the South State championship game for the first time in two years after having a six straight season run to that South State title game end last season.
- D’Iberville at Ocean Springs — The Greyhounds and Warriors face off to begin their first-ever play in Region 4-7A Friday night on U.S. Highway 90 with a Sock Hop happening just down the road. Under first-year head coach Jake Bramlett, OSHS is on a roll coming into the contest with a four-game win streak and standing 4-1 on the year. D’Iberville has bounced back a bit from starting the season off with three straight losses with two straight wins, including a resounding 63-31 road win over Wayne County while OSHS was off last week.
- Hancock at West Harrison — The only unbeaten squad in the “Southern Six” heads to Gulfport Friday night, as the Hurricanes host the 6-0 Hawks. West Harrison was off last week, but stands a solid 4-1 on the season and this game serves as the Region 4-6A opener for both teams. Hancock is unbeaten after six games for the first time in 23 years, since the 200 campaign.
- Vancleave at Gautier — A pair of teams in need of a win converge in this U.S. Highway 57 rivalry as the struggling Bulldogs at 1-4 head to Vaughn-Wallace Stadium to face the home-standing Gators. Gautier ain’t much better at 2-3 overall, and coming off a 27-7 loss to Columbia last week. This is the Region 4-5A opening game for both teams.
- Bay High at Moss Point— Two teams coming off of completely different performances last week meet on Dantzler Street this Friday night. The Hancock County Tigers beat Presbyterian Christian School at home impressively 40-18 to move to an even 3-3 last week, and look to open Region 8-4A play over a Jackson County Tiger bunch that sits 1-5 overall and 0-1 in league play after being mauled by Poplarville 54-12 last week.