Just like in the opening week, there are some intriguing prep football games on tap this week in South Mississippi. This week’s local slate features a few less match-ups between “Southern Six” foes than last week, but there are at least six that follow that same script.
With the opening week in the books, some teams are coming off big wins to start the season off last week while yet others are still searching for that first win of the new campaign. Each week in this space on Monday afternoon, we’ll give a glance toward the weekend and offer some games we think should be of interest.
Also, the college teams join the fray this week so they’ll be even more football fun over the holiday weekend.
Here are seven games in the “Southern Six” to watch this week:
- Vancleave at Gulfport — Both teams are 1-0 after resounding wins in week one, as the Admirals shutout Gautier 42-0 and and the Bulldogs bombed St. Martin 42-6. This appears to be the first-ever meeting between these two squads on the football field in the history of the two programs. That means it will be Vancleave’s first-ever trip to historic Milner Stadium. Gulfport got a big game out of new quarterback Nico Williams (accounted for four touchdowns) in new head coach Blake Pennock’s debut last week while veteran VHS head coach Kevin Fant got a big game from new tailback Kyle Capers (three scoring runs) as well.
- Pascagoula at East Central — A showdown between a pair of Jackson County foes, as the Panthers travel about 20 miles up U.S. Highway 63 to face the home-standing Hornets in Hurley/Wade. The two teams kicked off the season in differing fashions last week, as Pascagoula thumped arch-rival Moss Point 31-0 in the annual “Battle of the Cats” while ECHS got stuffed in Lucedale in a 28-7. These teams have been region rivals off and off over the past two decades, but haven’t met in three seasons. The Panthers got 162 yards on the ground from Cameron Deflanders last week, including a 72-yard scoring scamper. The Hornets won the last meeting, in 2020, and that decision snapped a nine-game winning streak for PHS in this series of which the Panthers lead all-time 12-3.
- Catholic High (Baton Rouge, La.) at Picayune — The Maroon Tide carry a state-wide best 27-game win streak into their home opener after a solid 28-21 road win over Brandon last week to open the season. These two perennial state powers in their respective neighboring states also have never met on the gridiron. The Maroon Tide is the defending two-time lass 5A state champions but moved up to Class 6A this season, and Picayune has won five overall state crowns in 1986, 2011, 2013, 2021 and 2022 and finished as runner-up in 2019. The Bears won state titles in 2015, 2017, 2020, 2021 and lost in the title tilt in 1990, 2018, 2019.
- St. Stanislaus at Bay High – The annual “Battle for the Crab Trap” takes place between these two neighborhood rivals in McCulloch Stadium home of the Tigers Friday night. These two teams are also coming off of far different outcomes in week one, as the Rocks throttled visiting Forrest County AHS 31-6 while the Tigers hit the road and fell to Class 1A Resurrection 29-26. The loss marked the second straight year Bay High lost its season opener, and SSC has now won four out of its past five season openers. This is the 55th meeting between the two long-time rivals, and this is the longest-running opponent of all time for SSC.
- Hancock at Moss Point — A rare meeting between these two “east coast” vs.”west coast” “Southern Six” foes as the squads have met only two previously on the gridiron with the last time coming in 2006. Moss Point won both of the pair of prior performances, in both 2005 and 2006. The two couldn’t have started the current campaign off much more differently, as the Hawks went on the road to Natchez and came home with a 42-20 win over the Bulldogs after flying out to a 30-6 halftime lead while the Tigers took it on the chin in John Feater’s debut on Dantzler falling to arch-rival Pascagoula 31-0 at home in the annual “Battle of the Cats”.
- D’Ibervile at Gautier — A pair of teams still looking for their first wins of the season after each got pretty much manhandled in week one. Class 4A Columbia trounced the Class 7A and home-standing Warriors 40-17 while visiting Gautier got grounded in Gulfport 42-0. The two teams have faced off quite a bit in the 25 years since Gautier first fielded a football team in 1997, as this will be the 18th all-time meeting. It will be the first meeting in nine years, however, since 2014 and it will mark the Warrior’s first trip to Gautier in a decade since the 2013 season.
- Scotlandville, (La.) at Ocean Springs — After falling on the last play of the game last week on the road at Madison Central 15-14, the Greyhounds return to the Gulf Coast for their home opener and the first game under new head coach Jake Bramlett at Greyhound Stadium. The Greyhounds are looking to avoid their first 0-2 start in a season since 2019, in Ryan Ross’ last year. They also started 0-2 in 2018. Scotlandville is the second team coming from the Baton Rouge area to invade the “Southern Six” this week, along with Catholic High heading to Picayune. Ironically enough, both the Hornets and Bears share the same Class 5A Region 4 in Louisiana.