Ocean Springs hosts D’Iberville Friday night in a game that will have significant implications in what should be a crowded race for the Region 4-6A title.
D’Iberville (3-2, 1-0) rolls into Ocean Springs coming off a 37-13 win over Biloxi in the lone 4-6A opener that wasn’t decided by a touchdown or less.
While the Warriors had a relatively easy time of it last week, Ocean Springs (4-1, 1-0) dealt with plenty of drama in a 36-35 win at Hancock.
Senior receiver Austin Williams caught a 1-yard touchdown toss from quarterback Malcolm Magee with 9 seconds remaining and the two connected again on the two point conversion to pick up the road victory.
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Williams, a Mississippi State commit, caught seven passes for 101 yards and a pair of touchdowns in the game for his best game on the season.
On Friday, D’Iberville coach Eric Collins knows he can’t let Williams get loose.
“He can go the distance at any time,” Collins said. “Their quarterback is very elusive. They’ll lull you to sleep with the veer. They’re a very disciplined and opportunistic football team.
“It’s hard to sell out to stop (Williams) because they the run veer so well. They have a nice little scheme. They do a good job of isolating their best players. We have to be at our best.”
The challenge for Ocean Springs will be to slow down D’Iberville’s increasingly potent Wing-T offense.
D’Iberville’s senior fullback, Micah Booker, ran through the Biloxi defense for 152 yards and a pair of touchdowns on 23 carries a week ago. He has 73 carries for 434 yards and and four touchdowns.
Booker is one of three D’Iberville players who have over 300 yards rushing. Junior Ja’Quavis Foster leads the way with 64 carries for 438 yards and three scores while senior Khalil McCray has 42 rushes for 309 yards and four touchdowns.
“Obviously, they’re well coached,” Ocean Springs coach Ryan Ross said. “They do a great job of executing offensively and grinding the ball out and keeping the ball in their hands. I think they look like a strong football team, a contender.”
Sophomore Michael Kozlowski made his first start of the season at quarterback for D’Iberville last week. He completed 3 of 7 passes for 110 yards, including a 77-yarder to Foster.
“He really responded well,” Collins said. “We’re excited about his play. He’s a very good athlete and he can throw the ball around a little bit. He brings a little bit of an added dimension as a threat to throw the ball down the field. We have the weapons to go out and catch it. It’s an opportunity to stretch the field a little bit.”
Magee has given Ocean Springs improved play at quarterback in recent weeks and he is coming off his most complete game yet at Hancock. He completed 9 of 14 passes for 114 yards and two touchdowns while rushing 10 times for 49 yards.
“I’m pleased with the progression we’re making,” Ross said. “ Malcolm is a threat to run and pass. That’s going to be his M.O. As long we can protect the football and not make costly mistakes, we’ll be OK.”
Who: Ocean Springs vs. D’Iberville
When: 7 p.m., Friday
Where: Greyhound Stadium, Ocean Springs
Radio: 103.1 FM, 1240 AM