This season looked like the year a representative from Region 4-6A might punch through and make a post-season run. Gulfport had lost to just one Mississippi school during the season, D'Iberville boasted a collection of college recruits, Ocean Springs spent much of the season ranked as the Coast's top team and Harrison Central was playing about as well as anyone at the end of the regular season. Then Friday happened and all four teams were eliminated from the playoffs in one fell swoop.
Record: 6-7 overall, 4-3 Region 4-6A
Quick hits: The Warriors were easily the most inconsistent Coast team this season, trading wins and losses until October, when D'Iberville finally won back-to-back games. The biggest win of the season easily came on the final night when the Warriors held on to up-end rival St. Martin and sneak back into the playoffs. Brandon set the team back in the playoff opener with a 41-7 loss.
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Statistical leaders: D'Iberville boasts one of two 1,000-1,000 QBs on the Coast in Louisville commit Jacquelle Green. The QB passed for 1,249 yards and rushed for another 1,532, accounting for 31 offensive TDs. His 13 interceptions four lost fumbles hurt the Warriors at times. Sophomore Chad Searight led a veteran defense with 99 tackles. LB Barry Leonardi racked up 96 tackles and 6.5 sacks. Southern Miss commit Jacques Turner totaled 93 tackles with a team-high seven sacks.
Looking ahead: The biggest story line may not be which players are returning, but who will be leading the Warriors. Coach Buddy Singleton talked all season about retiring at year's end, and while that's still likely, he hasn't made it official just yet. Should the legendary D'Iberville coach hang up his clipboard and whistle, the vacancy is sure to attract a deep pool of candidates for Harrison County athletics director Bobby Trosclair to choose from.
Record: 9-3 overall, 7-0 Region 4-6A
Quick hits: The Admirals answered big questions right out of the gate with a Shrimp Bowl win over 2014 Class 4A runner-up St. Stanislaus. After back-to-back losses at Prattville (Ala) and Petal, Gulfport reeled off eight straight wins. Multiple times the Admirals looked to be down and out late only to rally. The "reward" for winning 4-6A was a first-round matchup against a stacked Meridian squad and the Wildcats eventually won 42-6.
Statistical leaders: RB Deon Cole proved to be one of the Coast's most dangerous runners in '15, finishing with 1,668 yards and 14 touchdowns. He also registered three sacks and returned two of his three interceptions for lengthy touchdowns. Senior Alton Conerly seemed to come up big on a nightly basis and finished with seven receiving TDs and one score on a kick return.
Looking ahead: Graduating Cole and Conerly, among others, will hurt, but the Admirals return experience at QB in Cleveland Ford and Rhodes Walker, as well as speedy RB Larozzo Shugart and four of the team's top six tacklers.
Record: 6-7 overall, 5-2 Region 4-6A
Quick hits: Overall I think it's safe to call Year 1 under new coach Casey Cain a success. Losing the first-round matchup 40-21 to Petal undoubtedly stung, but the Red Rebels showed a lot of fight to rally from an 0-3 start. HCHS won six games for a second straight year, with five coming in region play to secure the No. 2 seed.
Statistical leaders: QB Tavis Williams threw one of the prettier balls this season and finished fifth on the Coast with 1,597 yards passing -- not bad considering the team transitioned from a run-heavy offense to a spread attack. Williams was also an elusive runner, especially down the stretch, and finished with 804 yards. Several RBs stepped up for HCHS, led by Keon Moore's 1,016-yard campaign. Linebacker Aaron Rainey led the defense with more than 120 tackles.
Looking ahead: The good news is Williams and Moore are back. The bad news is the Red Rebels graduate a ton and will need to reload at elsewhere around the field. HCHS has the talent pool to do just that, but the Red Rebs will need some 2015 role players to become go-to players in 2016.
Record: 8-4 overall, 5-2 Region 4-6A
Quick hits: The Greyhounds boasted an 8-1 record at one point but picked a bad time to go into a skid, losing their final three games, including the first-round matchup at Oak Grove, 31-20. For much of the season, OSHS relied on a stingy defense that aided the offense with positive field position. Led by QB Drew Windham, the offense operated efficiently for most of the season.
Statistical leaders: Windham finished with 1,298 yards passing and 9 touchdowns. He also rushed for eight TDs. Junior Austin Williams was one of the most reliable WRs on the Coast, finishing with 56 receptions for 928 yards and seven TDs. Matthew Pleasant headlined a two-headed attack on the ground, leading OSHS with 1,196 yards and nine touchdowns. He also collected seven 100-yard games, averaging 7.2 yards per carry. Trexton Coleman finished second with 549 yards and five scores. Defensively, OSHS had a pair of tackle machines in Deonta Burchfield and Vincent Milanese, who finished with 160 and 126 tackles respectively. Isaiah Toler led a sticky-fingered secondary with five interceptions. As a team, OSHS picked off 17 passes.
Looking ahead: Williams returns as Ocean Springs leading passer, having completed his only pass for a 61-yard touchdown. The Greyhounds will need to find Windham's successor in the spring and hope that current sophomore Daveaunce Gaines or junior Travis Pugh can step up at RB and combine to replace some of the production Pleasant and Coleman take with them.