As the weeks left in the regular season continue to dwindle for the squads in the “Southern Six”, Rock’s Locks continues to improve week by week as well.
The ole prep pigskin prognosticator went 10-3 last week marking the third consecutive week that we were in double digits in the win total. Our recent successful stint moved us to 89-28 on the season for a winning percentage of right at 77 percent overall.
We’ve got four separate battles for the top spot in respective regions in four different classifications this week as the dust should settle in the race for the playoffs for many but could get even more dusty for others.
“Beaumont to Biloxi, sea breeze at your door…gypsy rains, dang hurricanes and white sliver, sandy shores…”
- Ocean Springs at Gulfport — The battle for supremacy in Region 4-7A features the Greyhounds heading to historic Milner Stadium to take on the home-standing Admirals. Each team sits a perfect 3-0 in the region race, and this game more than likely serves as the defacto title title title for postseason purposes. These two teams didn’t meet in the regular season until 1993, so this marks the 30th anniversary of what now has become an annual affair for the past three decades. Gulfport leads the all-time series 21-10, but OSHS has won three in a row heading into this one. There’s also the head coaching factor in this contest to consider, as the Admirals are guided by first-year head coach Blake Pennock who left OSHS after three seasons in the same post to take over at GHS this season. We think the Greyhounds remember that all too well…Ocean Springs 28, Gulfport 24.
- Picayune at George County — The same scenario exists in Region 4-6A in Lucedale this week as powerful Picayune travels to Gill-Martin Stadium on the campus of the Rebels in a battle for the top spot in that league Friday night. The Rebels are 7-2 overall and the Maroon Tide stands 6-2 overall and both sit 3-0 in the region race. The teams have met 17 times total all-time, and George County hasn’t beaten Picayune in 21 years while the Maroon Tide has won four straight games in the past decade since the rivalry was renewed in 2013 after a 12-year hiatus. Both squads have clinched Class 6A playoff berths, it’s just a matter of seeding that’s left to decide. There’s been a lot of big talk coming out of George County this week, but we’ll stick with the back-to-back state champions for now. Picayune 23, George County 21.
- Lumberton at Resurrection (Thursday night) — Resurrection sits alone atop the Region 8-1A standings at 4-0 after a big road win over Sacred Heart last week, but the stakes are just as high this week for the Eagles as they host Lumberton who stands at 3-1 and is tied with SHHS in second place. There are a multitude of tie-breakers involved if RCS loses by 10 or more points, but the easiest way to describe the scenario is that if the Eagles win or lose by nine points or less then they secure the region title for the first time in eight years as well as a first-round home game in the upcoming Class 1A South State playoffs. Resurrection 17, Lumberton 12.
- St. Stanislaus at West Marion (Thursday night) — In Region 8-3A again the same scenario presents itself as in Region 4-7A and in Region 4-6A as St. Stanislaus and West Marion square off this week for the top spot in the league race after each moved to 3-0 in the loop with wins last week. Both teams have secured both playoff berths as well as opening round home games to kick off the Class 3A South State playoffs which begin next week. This game will decide the region champ, however, and we like the Rocks…St. Stanislaus 35, West Marion 14.
- Stone at Gautier — The Gators remained unbeaten in Region 4-5A with a 34-7 win over East Central last week to move to 3-0 in the loop that also secured Gautier a berth in the upcoming Class 5A South State playoffs. A win over the visiting Tomcats Friday night would secure home-field advantage in the opening round of the playoffs for Gautier and set up a clash of titans next week to close out regular season play at Laurel in a battle for the region crown. We like the Gators to remain unbeaten in league play when they head to Jones County next week. Gautier 34, Stone 14.
- East Central at Vancleave — This game will be talked about in deer stands and duck blinds throughout Jackson County for the next year or so as a pair of longtime rivals each desperately in need of a win to keep their playoff hopes alive face off Friday night in Region 4-5A play. This is the longest-running all-time rivalry for both teams, and marks the 65th anniversary of the first-ever meeting on the gridiron between the Bulldogs and Hornets. The series is extremely close with VHS holding a tight 32-30 advantage all-time. However, the Hornets have won seven straight contests in this annual affair and would need yet another to keep their hopes of making the postseason alive. This one is a real toss up y’all…Vancleave 21, East Central 16.
- Harrison Central at Biloxi — The same situation exists in Biloxi as does in Vancleave, as both the home-standing Indians and visiting Red Rebels need at least a win or perhaps two in the final two weeks of the regular season to bolster their playoff hopes. Harrison Central sits in the third spot in the Region 4-7A race just behind Gulfport and Ocean Springs, and a win this week secures a berth in the upcoming Class 7A South State playoffs. A loss by Biloxi would deeply damage its playoff hopes. Harrison Central 20, Biloxi 13.
A Six Pack to go:
Poplarville 44, Greene County 14
Pascagoula 31, West Harrison 10
Hancock 40, Long Beach 9
D’Iberville 34, St. Martin 20
Pass Christian 27, Bay High 13
West Jones 66, Pearl River Central 7