Four region titles were decided Friday night across the “Southern Six’ in four different classifications. And yet one other will be in place by 10 p.m., or so Thursday night.
The South State playoffs in the four smallest classifications kick-off this week on Friday night, while the day before on Thursday the three largest classifications will be wrapping up regular season play.
Here are 7 things we noticed in the “Southern 6” last week:
- Region 4-7A — Ocean Springs wrapped up its third consecutive region crown, including the first-ever in Region 4-7A, as the Greyhounds gallopped past home-standing Gulfport in impressive fashion 30-7. Ocean Springs went on a 21-point unanswered scoring spurt in the fourth quarter to break open the game and register its fourth straight win over the Admirals. It also marked the 18th consecutive region win over the past three seasons for OSHS as the Greyhounds haven’y lost a league game since the end of the 2020 season and need one more win this week to complete their third straight perfect season in region play.
- Region 4-6A — Picayune remained in step with Ocean Springs, collecting its third straight region title with a 34-21 win over upset-minded George County Friday night. The Maroon Tide extended a 20-plus year winning streak over the Rebels by scoring three times in the second half and completely shutting down the GCHS offensive attack. Picayune was playing without its top two tailbacks, so all third-teamer Niquis Ratcliff did was run for over 300 yards and three touchdowns in his first start.
- Region 4-5A — Gautier assured itself of a first-round home playoff game and set up a clash for the region crown with Laurel next up with a resounding 49-22 win over visiting Stone Friday night. The Gators jumped out to early leads of 21-6 as well as 35-12 in the first hale and was completely in control thoughout in the win which moved GHS to 6-3 overall but more importantly a perfect 4-0 in league play. For the second straight season for Gauteir, the Gators will hit the road for the final regular season game with a region crown on the line.
- Region 8-4A— Despite suffering one of their biggest regular season setbacks in the past nine seasons under head coach Jay Beech, the Hornets secured the league title while losing to home-standing Greene County 29-28 Friday in Leakesville. The loss send shock waves through South Mississippi especially among the other four teams that loop. The win earned the Wildcats the third seed in the region race for playoff purposes. Pass Christain, which beat Bay High Thursday night, secored the second seed with a win over Bay high Thursday night and Bay High finished fourth.
- Region 8-3A — St. Stanislaus captured the region title with an impressive 49-7 road win over West Marion Friday night in the regular season finale for both teams. The win completed a 5-0 league mark for SSC in head coach Tim Lala’s first season as well as the Rock’s first league crown in seven seasons, since 2016. The Rocks finished the regular season at an impressive 8-1 overall, the most wins in a regular season since that 2016 season as well. Rock quarterback Ian Gael Gonzalez Rioz completed 15 passes for 231 yards and four touchdowns in the win.
- Region 8-1A — Resurrection back-doored its way to its first region title since 2015 thanks to tie-breaking procedures after falling to visiting Lumberton 19-14 Thursday night in Gautier. The outcome left RCS, LHS and Scared Heart all in a three-way tie with 4-1 league marks, but the Eagles grabbed the top seed, SHHS the second seed and LHS the third spot.
- Bad beat — Moss Point was in the state playoffs until Greene County rallied late to upset Poplarville. That decision left the Tigers as the fifth team outside in the four-team playoff race in Region 8-4A. Moss Point finishes the regular season at 2-7 for the second consecutive season. The Tiger’s woes, however, pale in comparison to Pearl River Central, whose 56-0 loss to West Jones in Region 3-6A play Friday night ended an 0-9 season for the Blue Devils who have now lost 13 straight games and 18 of their last 19 games over the past two seasons. But, St. Martin currently is in the midst of the longest losing streak in the “Southern Six” as the Yellow Jackets are on a 16-game losing streak and wrap up the regular season with a trip to Ocean Springs Thursday night.Ouch….