Week one of prep football for teams in our coverage area of “The Southern Six” is in the books, and there were a few surprises along with some more traditional results when the dust settled late Friday night.
Each Sunday afternoon here in this space we’ll focus on some of the results from the prior few days on the prep football scene.
Here are seven things we noticed in the opening week:
- You win some: Picayune stretched its statewide best win streak to 27 consecutive games Friday night knocking off another perennial state power Brandon 28-21 on the road. The defending two-time Class 5A state champion Maroon Tide played its first-ever game as a member of Class 6A and came away successful as senior Dandy Dozen tailback Chris Davis ran roughshod over the Bulldog defense to the tune of 244 yards and three touchdowns on 44 carries in the win. Picayune hasn’t lost a game in almost two years.
- You lose some: Long Beach, like Picayune, moved up from Region 4-5A to Region 4-6A this season, but the Bearcats are headed in the opposite direction. Long Beach fell to Pass Christian 49-21 Friday night on the road in the annual “Oyster Bowl” marking the 27th consecutive loss (or 30th) for the Bearcats. The Bearcats are struggling through one of the toughest stretches in their almost 90-year history on the gridiron, as LBHS has lost 27 actual games played on the field in the past three seasons as well as three forfeits suffered during the 2020 Covid year. In all, Long Beach has lost 41 out of its past 44 football games played on the football field dating back to the 2018 season. Pass Christian’s Anthony James produced two exciting punt returns, one for 89 yards to the Long Beach one that set up a score and another for a 55-yard touchdown return as the Pirates gave head coach Jeff Stockstill a win in his first game in charge.
- If at first you don’t succeed — Stockstill was one of eight new head coaches in the “Southern Six” making their debuts at new schools Friday night, and only he and two more of the octet came away with wins. In Gulfport, Admiral quarterback Nico Williams, also new on the job, ran for three touchdowns and passed for another while Gulfport’s defense pitched a shutout in the Admirals’ 42-0 victory over visiting Gautier Friday in the Port City Bowl at historic Milner Stadium in Blake Pennocks debut. Also, Tim Lala was successful in his first game at St. Stanislaus as the Rocks whipped Forrest County 31-6 as quarterback Ian Gonzalez Rios, also new on the job, ran for just over 190 yards and four touchdowns in the win
- Try, try again — The other five guys new on the job weren’t quite as fortunate, as Jake Bramlett at Ocean Springs (15-14, Madison Central), Jacob Webb at Pearl River Central 31-6, South Pike), Jacob Aycock at Stone (44-14, Biloxi) Oscar Glasscox at St. Patrick (28-13, Sacred Heart) and John Feaster at Moss Point (31-0, Pascagoula) all are still looking for their first win at their new school.
- Panther Pride – In Feaster’s debut on Dantzler Street, former Moss Point alum and mentor Lewis Sims marched his Pascagoula Panthers across Jefferson Street and thumped the arch-rival Tigers in the 83rd annual “Battle of the Cats”. It marked Moss Point’s sixth straight loss at home tp Pascagoula, which marks the longest such streak in the series which dates back to the 1920’s.
- Eagle watch — In the first-ever meeting between the two programs, Class 1A Resurrection knocked off visiting Class 4A opponent Bay High 29-26. It was a big blow for the little guys in prep football in the “Southern Six” (which there isn’t a lot of) as the Eagles under second-year head coach Eric Denmark punched up in weight classification and secured the upset knock out when Daniel Pickens hauled in a 12-yard scoring strike from Luke Schnoor with just under eight minutes to play. Pickens led the way for the Eagles with 205 yards and a touchdown on the ground also as he helped lead RCS back from a double-digit deficit in the third quarter to the historic win.
- Gone fishing — In the Shrimp Bowl, Biloxi senior quarterback Zach Marlin tossed three first-half touchdowns in leading the Indians to a dominating 44-14 season-opening victory over Stone County Friday night in the annual Shrimp Bowl Classic. Biloxi scored on all five of their first-half possessions to build a comfortable 30-0 halftime lead and coast to the win.