The state prep football playoffs in all six classifications are now underway in the state of Mississippi.
And in the “Southern Six”, we have 13 teams still alive and hoping to enjoy a “November to Remember”.
Here are 7 things we noticed in the “Southern 6” last week:
- Instant classic — Picayune slipped past Gautier 48-42 in overtime to claim the Region 4-5A championship. The defending Class 5A state champion Maroon Tide extended their school-record win streak to 22 straight games, as Dante Dowdell ended the contest with a 10-yard scoring scamper on Picayune’s first play in the extra session after holding the Gators scoreless to begin the OT. Picayune is now 11-0 headed into the playoffs, while Gautier saw its eight-game win streak come to an end. Kaden Irving threw for five scores for the Gators in the loss.
- Back-to-back — Ocean Springs wrapped up its second consecutive perfect 10-0 regular season with a 43-14 win over Harrison Central in Region 4-6A play. The Greyhounds also pushed their school-record regular season winning streak to 20 wins in the process. Will Gray ran for three touchdowns and caught one score from Bray Hubbard who also threw a scoring pass to Christian White as well in the win.
- Tiger tale — Moss Point earned the right to host an opening round Class 4A South State playoff game after winning just two regular season games. But all of that was an afterthought Friday night on Dantzler Street as the Tigers thumped visiting Forrest County AHS 48-6. Jamarious Brown and Jabarious Charles each ran for a pair of touchdowns apiece in the win as the Tigers won an opening-round postseason game for the third time in the past four seasons.
- Running game — In a game that will be talked about in duck blinds and deer stands for the next year, longtime rivals East Central and Vancleave squared off in a key Region 4-5A battle Thursday night. The visiting Hornets pitched a shutout in the second half to take a 28-21 win over the Bulldogs and secure the third seed in the region race. Grey Bradley, who has filled in very well for injured standout Eli Smith, ran roughshod over the VHS defense tallying almost 250 yards and three touchdowns on the ground. John Peterson countered with nearly 200 yards rushing and one score for Vancleave, which took the fourth playoff spot.
- Smooth Sailing — The Gulfport Admirals took down arch-rival Biloxi in the 100th all-time meeting between those two teams 33-24, and in the process wrapped up the second spot in Region 4-6A and the right to host an opening round Class 6A state playoff game that goes with that seed. Gulfport has now beaten the Indians in 18 out of the past 19 meetings at historic Milner Stadium, with a 7-6 win in 2020 the only blemish in that streak. The Indians earned the third seed in the region race.
- Historic Hurricanes — No, West Harrison didn’t quite make the state playoffs for the first time ever, but the Hurricanes did blow their way to their first winning season ever in the 14-year history of the program. West Harrison won two out of its final three regular season games, including a 25-23 win over visiting Pearl River Central Thursday night to end the campaign at 6-4 overall. The Hurricanes finished just a game behind Vancleave for the fourth and final postseason slot.
- Youth movement — A pair of local squads, Pascagoula and George County, didn’t enjoy the type of season either hoped for as both missed the playoffs. Still, each won their regular season finales due to some stellar play from a pair of sophomore quarterbacks. Pascagoula’s Silas Corder threw for over 170 yards and two touchdowns and he also ran for yet another score as the Panthers slapped around playoff-bound Hancock 28-0 Thursday night at Brett Favre Field. Corder was coming off a 222-yard, four-touchdown night passing in a 50-14 win over St. Martin the previous week. Meanwhile, George County sophomore signal-caller Deuce Knight accounted for almost 450 yards of total offense and seven scores in a 63-20 win over Long Beach Thursday night as he completed 10 of 11 passes for 263 yards and four touchdowns and he also ran for 182 yards and three touchdowns. The prior week in a close loss to East Central, Knight threw for over 160 yards and scored twice as well on the ground.