By PATRICK MAGEE — With many high school football teams taking this week off, there are just three games featuring East Jackson County squads Friday night.
Let's take a closer look at the three contests:
* Gautier at Vancleave - This is definitely the biggest game of the week in East Jackson County this week. These are two teams that are at a crossroads prior to the start of region play. The Gators have hung tough early in the season, but only have one win (over Moss Point) to show for it. Vancleave can make a huge statement with a victory over the rival Gators.
Vancleave (2-2) is coming off a 36-0 trouncing of George County. The Bulldogs simply went back to what works, keeping the ball on the ground and playing their best players both ways. Vancleave has more experience at the skill positions in this game, and will likely have a slight edge on its home field.
Gautier (1-2) is looking to get back to .500 after losing 20-8 to Ocean Springs last week. The Gators aren't getting into the end zone enough, but their defense will give them a shot to win on the road.
* Biloxi at Moss Point - It's been a tough four games to start the season for Moss Point. The Tigers will face yet another tough non-region opponent after falling to Pascagoula, Gautier, Ocean Springs and Gulfport.
The Tigers will likely be without running back Jamal Holloway and defensive end/fullback Gabe Jackson is limited due to his own injury.
Moss Point coach Ed East believes he saw a potential turnaround in his team last week in the second half of a 35-13 loss to Gulfport.
Expect the Tigers to put up a better fight this week.
* Natchez-Cathedral at Resurrection Catholic - Coach Scott Sisson's Resurrection team has lost back-to-back tight contests on the road against good competition (Salem and Lumberton) to start the Region 4-1A slate.
The schedule doesn't get any easier against Cathedral, which is 3-1. Cathedral's lone loss was a 51-48 decision to Bogue Chitto.
Resurrection is 2-2.