There’s Picayune, St. Stanislaus and everybody else.
Week 8 of the high school football season in South Mississippi reinforced what we pretty much knew already. No. 1 Picayune and No. 2 St. Stanislaus are the class of 5A and 4A on the Coast and all other teams are chasing them.
Friday’s slate of games also brought more attention to the fact that Region 4-6A is as wide open as it’s ever been. There is a five-way tie for first place with George County, Gulfport, D’Iberville, St. Martin and Biloxi all sitting at 2-1 in region play.
Many counted out George County and Biloxi in 4-6A before the region slate even started, but they’ve both put together consecutive impressive wins.
A week after topping Harrison Central 24-14, Biloxi (4-3, 2-1) thumped Ocean Springs 44-28 on Friday night.
George County (4-3, 2-1) suddenly looks like it may be the team to beat in 4-6A after thrashing No. 3 D’Iberville 55-21 in Lucedale. The Rebels won 36-14 at Gulfport the week before.
St. Martin (5-3, 2-1) was also impressive Friday night, earning a 41-7 road win at Harrison Central behind three touchdown passes from senior quarterback Wayne Overman.
Gulfport (4-3, 2-1) trailed 10-7 at the half at Hancock Friday night before putting up 31 unanswered points in the second half.
Picayune again proved itself a strong contender for a Class 5A state title with a 56-48 win over a talented Hattiesburg squad. Josh Littles ran for 251 yards and three touchdowns as Picayune avoided a late surge from the Tigers.
The Maroon Tide can further cement their hold on first place in 4-5A when they host Stone High (5-2, 2-1) this week. The game will feature a match between a former player, Stone coach John Feaster, and his former high school coach, Picayune’s Dodd Lee.
Feaster was a star defensive lineman under Lee for the Maroon Tide.
Pascagoula (4-3, 3-0) can also consider itself a contender in 4-5A if it can pick up a road win at Hattiesburg (5-3, 2-1) this upcoming Friday. The Panthers cruised past West Harrison 39-7 on Friday night.
Big 4A match looming
St. Stanislaus’ Myles Brennan again continues to set a high bar for all the quarterbacks who will follow him in Mississippi.
He tied former Rockachaw Dylan Favre’s state career touchdown pass record of 144 with five in a 56-14 win at Bay High on Friday night. He also set the state record for career total offensive yardage with 256, surpassing Favre’s mark of 14,262.
SSC (6-1, 2-0) faces one of its biggest tests of the season when it hosts a motivated East Central team (5-3, 2-0) this Friday.
East Central is one of the few teams on the Coast that has an offense that can hang with SSC’s potent attack. East Central junior running back Tony Brown, the nation’s leading rusher, ran 27 times for 300 yards and four touchdowns in a 49-14 win over Pass Christian on Friday night.
It’s fair to assume the biggest barn burner of Week 9 will take place at St. Stanislaus.