Biloxi and Gulfport have the state's oldest high school football rivalry.
The two cross-county rivals meet for the 91st time at 7 p.m. Friday night at Biloxi Stadium. Since 1920, Gulfport leads the all-time series 54-33-4 and have won three in a row over Biloxi, including a 49-7 victory last season.
Gulfport (8-2, 6-0) is the Region 4-6A champions and ranked first in the Sun Herald's poll. Admirals coach Eddie Pierce is 3-0 against Biloxi, since replacing Mike Justice during the 2012 season.
"We've been working hard like we have all season long," Pierce said. "The game's important because it's the next one on our schedule. The game's important because it's Gulfport playing Biloxi."
Biloxi coach Bobby Hall will coach in his first Indians-Admirals contest, but is well-aware of the history between the two schools.
"Biloxi and Gulfport both have rich traditions in football," Hall said. "The rivalry goes back to the 1930's and Lindy Callahan in the Big Eight conference. For years, Gulfport and Biloxi were the two best teams in the state. It's not that way anymore, but the game is still a big deal."
Pierce isn't judging the Indians (3-7, 0-6) by their record. Biloxi can move the ball with quarterback Trey Shaffer and wide receiver Tim Jones, who has 30 receptions for 618 yards and seven touchdowns.
"Biloxi's a well-coached team," Pierce said. "Coach Hall does a great job. Biloxi just had some tough luck. I know that Coach Hall will have them ready to play and keep us from going unbeaten in the Region. If we're not ready to play, we'll have a hard time."
The Admirals are led by running back/defensive back Deon Cole, who has rushed for 1,401 yards and 11 touchdowns. Cole ran for 217 yards against the Indians last season.
"Gulfport's a good team with a lot of good skilled players on offense and defense," Hall said. "There's a reason why they're 6-0 in our Region."
The Admirals will play host to Meridian in round one of the 6A state playoffs next week at Milner Stadium.