The two unbeaten prep football teams in the “Southern Six” that went into play Friday remain perfect as practice begins this week. Also, the pair of squads that were winless going into Friday are still looking for a win on Sunday afternoon.
Many prep football teams in the “Southern Six” have completed the pre-region portions of their schedules.
With some help from the legendary rock band The Eagles, here are 7 things we noticed in the “Southern 6” Friday night:
- New Kid in Town — The Hancock Hawks are the only team in the “Southern Six” that sit a perfect 5-0 after five weeks in the current prep football campaign after head coach Neil Lollar’s crew went on the road and man-handled Vacleave 35-14 Friday night. Hancock is off to its first 5-0 start in 23 years, since the 2000 season, and will look to make it 6-0 this week at Homecoming. The Hawks jumped out to a quick 14-0 lead less than four minutes into the game Friday and never looked back. Senior two-way stalwart Jeffery Hopgood had a pair of shoring scoring runs in the win for HHS.
- Peaceful, Easy Feeling — Harrison Central is also flying high at 4-0, after thumping visiting Mendenhall Friday in Lyman 23-6 Friday night. It marks the second time in the past three seasons that the Red Rebels not only have started off the season at 4-0, but HCHS also had an early open date two years ago just like it had this season. Tri Gaughf, the Red Reb quarterback, threw for 111 yards and a touchdown while running for another score in the win. Jaden Eckford added over 100 yards on the ground and a touchdown as well in the winning effort.
- Take it to the Limit — St. Martin started off last season fairly impressively at 3-1 under then-new head coach Ty Smith before hitting its open week. The Yellow Jackets then proceeded to lose all seven league games and finish up at 3-8. The losing surge has extended into this season, as SMHS stands at 0-5 after a high-scoring 63-42 loss to visiting East Central Friday night. Once again, the Yellow Jackets enter their open date this week with Region 4-7A games set to begin next week and St. Martin in the midst of a 12-game-losing streak.
- I Can’t Tell You Why — Speaking of lengthy losing streaks, Pearl River Central’s span reached nine straight losses last week with a 42-26 loss to visiting Bay High in Carriere. Bay High was 1-3 going into the game, and the decision leaves PRC at 0-5 just like SMHS. Bay High’s only other win so far this season came three weeks ago, 60-41 over Long Beach, which at that point marked the Bearcats’ 29th straight loss.
- One of these Nights — East Central’s high-flying win over St. Martin featured a seven-touchdown performance by Hornet running back Ben Myrick. It was one of the top individual feats for an ECHS running back since Tony Brown recorded eight scores in the 2017 Class 4A South State semifinals in a win 77-23 win over South Pike. But in that outing, Brown ran for “just” 146 yards total. In addition to his seven-touchdown night, Myrick thrashed the Yellow Jackets’ defense for 338 rushing yards and the lucky seven scores on 24 carries. I don’t think there is much discussion needed on who will be this week’s 228Sports Turfmasters Player of the Week.
- Those Shoes — As good as Picayune has been over the past two seasons, winning back-to-back Class 5A state titles, Ocean Springs had been just as good in the regular season over that span but had much less successful postseason performances. That made Friday night’s 31-21 road win over the Maroon Tide even sweeter for the Greyhounds, who moved to 4-1. Picayune has lost two regular season games since dropping consecutive games to end the Covid season in 2020, and the Maroon Tide is now 3-2 for the first time in a little over five years, since Sept. 21st, 2018. Picayune played without super senior standout and Dandy Dozen tailback Chris Davis.
- The Long Run — Longtime Mississippi Gulf Coast rivals Pascagoula and Biloxi faced off for the 99th time on the football field Friday night, and the Panthers clawed out a 27-7 road win at The Biloxi Sports Complex. The decision allowed PHS to bounce back from its only loss of the season so far in the week before against D’Iberville and move to 4-1 on the season. It also marked the first home loss of the year for the Indians, who dropped to 2-3 overall with the loss.