“Then shalt thou count to three, no more, no less. Three shall be the number thou shalt count, and the number of the counting shall be three.”
With all due respect to Saint Attila and Monty Python, there are three prep teams left in the “Southern Six” that are still in search of the “Holy Grail” of the seven gold footballs that will be presented in Oxford the first weekend of December after some hand grenades were launched last week.
Here are 7 things in the “Southern 6” we noticed Friday night:
- Long live the King — Powerful Picayune pummeled Pascagoula for the second time this season, as the perennial state power picked up a 38-0 thumping of the Panthers at Lee-Triplett Stadium in the Class 6A South State semifinals. The win, on the heels of a 51-14 romp over PHS some seven weeks ago, moved the Maroon Tide to 10-2 overall and pushed the two-time and defending state champions into their third consecutive South State championship. Picayune scored on all five of their first-half possession to build a commanding 35-0 halftime lead.
- History makers — Gautier went on the road and pulled out an exciting 36-34 win over homestanding Florence in the first ever meeting between the two teams on the football field. The win, coming in the Class 5A South State semifinals, guides the Gators into their second consecutive Class 5A South State championship game for the first time ever in school history. The Gators are one win away from their first-ever trip to a state championship game as well, after they took a seemingly commanding 36-13 lead early in the third frame and then held on to secure the win despite the Eagles scoring 21 unanswered points to end the game.
- Back in the mix — After appearing in six consecutive Class 4A South State championship games, the Poplarville Hornets came up one step short of that round last year. But, after a 44-20 road win over Lawrence County Friday night in Monticello, the Hornets are headed back to the 4A South State finals this week. Freshman Tylan Keys rand for 162 yards and three touchdowns in helping PHS break open a 23-20 halftime lead and cruise to the win.
- Grounded Eagles — Resurrection enjoyed its first nine-win campaign on the gridiron in eight years, since a march to the state championship game in 2015, this season. But that successful season came to a sudden halt on the road in Camden Friday night with a 40-13 loss to undefeated Velma Jackson in the Class 1A South State semifinals. Quarterback Luke Schnoor scored on two short dive plays to provide the RCS scoring, as the Eagles actually led early in the game 6-0 before the Falcons went into attack mode. RCS ends the season at 9-3, and just one step away from their second-ever appearance in the Class 1A South State championship game.
- Pirates adrift — Pass Christian reached the third round of the state playoffs for the first time in school history before the Pirates also ran up against an undefeated team and faced similar results as Resurrection did. Columbia came calling to McDonald Stadium in the Pass and returned home with a 42-7 decision in the other Class 4A South State semifinal match-up. The loss left PCHS one win shy of tying the school record for wins in a season at 10, set in 1975, as the Pirates finished the season at 9-3 under first-year head coach Jeff Stockstill. It marked the second time this season that the Wildcats slipped down onto the Coast and raced back home with a win by scoring at least 40 points in both contests. Columbia opened the season at Class 7A foe D’Iberville with a 40-7 win.
- Class 6A — West Jones beat Region 3-6A rival Terry for the second time this season and will now host Picayue in the Class 6A South State championship game this week.
- Class 5A — Laurel knocked off Brookhaven and will host region 4-5A rival Gautier for the second time this season “Between the Bricks” in the Class 5A South State championship game this week. The Golden Tornadoes blew past the visiting Gators 48-30 just a couple of weeks ago in a game that decided the region title.