Gautier and Pascagoula meet in one of Jackson County's biggest rivalries Friday at War Memorial Stadium in Pascagoula.
Pascagoula has already locked up a first-round home game in the playoffs while Gautier needs a win and some help to lock up the final playoff bid out of Region 4-5A. Gautier (5-5, 3-3) has to beat Pascagoula and hope that Stone beats Hattiesburg Friday.
"We haven't even mentioned that this week," Gautier coach Chris Peterson said. "Our kids are aware of it, but this is all about us and Pascagoula and we can only control our game Friday night. That's the only one we're worried about. Obviously, we'll be rooting for the Stone County Tomcats take care of business."
While Pascagoula already has the No. 2 seed in 4-5A under wraps, Pascagoula coach Lewis Sims is expecting nothing less than a battle Friday.
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"It's going to be a gator-cat fight," Sims said. "We're one of the fortunate teams that opens the season with a huge rival (Moss Point) and ends the season with a huge rival. Those are two games that mean a lot to this community."
Sims describes his Pascagoula team (7-3, 5-1) as "banged up" entering the final week of the regular season.
One player who has gotten healthier by the week for Pascagoula is senior utility man Jakwaize Walker. He missed three games with an injury, but has seen his role increase over the last three games and took some snaps at quarterback last week.
"It was like being back at home in my old spot," Walker said
Gautier is at its best when LeCharles Pringle is making plays on offense along with three other talented talented running backs - DeAndre Torrey, William Beverly and J.T. Triplett.
"It all starts with (Pringle)," Peterson said. "LeCharles spearheads our option attack."