High School Sports

Patrick’s Picks: Biloxi hopes Donte Starks provides lift vs. Stone

Biloxi head coach Bobby Hall watches his offense in the fourth quarter of their game at East Central on Aug. 25.
Biloxi head coach Bobby Hall watches his offense in the fourth quarter of their game at East Central on Aug. 25. Special to the Sun Herald

Biloxi has had nothing but tough luck the first two weeks of the season, but head coach Bobby Hall got some good news on Thursday.

Junior linebacker Donte Starks, who played last season at St. Martin, is eligible to play for Biloxi (0-2) in Friday night’s home game against Stone High.

Rated a 4-star prospect by Rivals.com, Starks holds scholarship offers from programs like Arkansas, Auburn, LSU, Florida State, Louisville, Oklahoma, Southern Miss and Tennessee.

The 6-foot-1, 210-pound standout will be a welcome addition to a defense that’s already been a bright spot for the team.

East Central topped Biloxi 24-10 last week after the Indians jumped out to a 10-0 lead after one quarter. Much like East Central, Stone High’s ground game will present a challenge for Biloxi.

The Tomcats (1-0) rushed for 208 yards in a 21-7 win over Harrison Central last week with Trey Arrington leading the way with 19 carries for 101 yards and one touchdown.

My prediction: Stone High 21, Biloxi 20.

Here’s how I see the rest of the games shaking out:

Long Beach 38, Bay High 17: The Bearcats (1-0) should hit the field running after sitting out last week. After beating Pass Christian 27-14 in the opener, Long Beach should put more points on the board Friday night.

Gautier 24, Hancock 20: Hancock is off to a 2-0 start and looking to avoid last year’s collapse after starting 3-0. Gautier (1-1) needs a rebound after losing 30-27 in overtime to Moss Point last week. Hancock junior Caleb Garcia has been one of the top quarterbacks on the Coast with 403 yards passing and three touchdowns. Gautier relies heavily on junior running back Micah Kelly, who has 249 yards and three touchdowns on 28 carries.

Madison Central 24, D’Iberville 17: Madison Central is off to an impressive 2-0 start with wins over Brandon and Ocean Springs. D’Iberville (1-1) still has some kinks to work out on offense after putting up 10 points in a loss at Picayune last week.

Harrison Central 14, Forest Hill 13: The Red Rebels (0-2) feature one of the best running backs on the Coast in senior Keon Moore, but the offense only has 17 total points through two games. This is an important contest for Harrison Central to gain some confidence.

St. Paul’s (Ala.) 35, St. Stanislaus 17: The Saints have to remember last year’s 49-26 loss at St. Stanislaus. The Rockachaws (1-0) have a chance to be competitive behind a solid defense, but St. Paul’s showed it can put up big numbers on offense last week in a 54-53 win at Fairhope.

Picayune 38, Pascagoula 20: This will be a second consecutive difficult road trip for Pascagoula (1-1) after losing 36-0 at Gulf Breeze last week. Picayune (1-1) showed that it’s ready to contend in Class 5A after a 31-10 thumping of D’Iberville a week ago.

Forrest County AHS 28, Pearl River Central 14: PRC has been outscored 77-6 over the last two weeks. PRC head coach Larry Dolan won a Class 4A state title at FCAHS in 2013.

Poplarville 31, Seminary 17: Poplarville’s potent offense will be tested by a Seminary defense that has allowed just 6 points through two games. Poplarville (2-0) may be favored in each of its remaining regular season contests.

East Central 35, George County 10: With no offensive points to speak of, George County (2-0) needs badly to get its offense on track. East Central (1-0) didn’t have a huge game on offense last week, but the Hornets are sure to break loose sometime soon.

Ocean Springs 28, Murrah 10: This home game seems a prime opportunity for Ocean Springs (0-2) to get its first win of the season. Murrah has scored just 10 points through two games.

Crestview (Fla.) 28, St. Martin 21: Crestview (1-0) traveled to St. Martin last season and won 46-24. The Yellow Jackets’ defense seems much improved after allowing a total of 12 points over the last two games. Crestview has a potent offense and is led by former Pearl River C.C. head coach Tim Hatten.

Greene County 20, Vancleave 14: The folks in Leakesville are excited about first-year head coach Michael King and a defense that hasn’t allowed an offensive score this season. Vancleave (1-1) seems much improved on offense, averaging 31.5 points a game. The slight advantage goes to the Greene County defense.

Hattiesburg 35, Moss Point 17: Hattiesburg (2-0) is loaded once again on offense. Moss Point (1-1) made significant improvement from Week 1 to Week 2, but this is probably too tall of a task on the road.

Resurrection 27, Maplesville (Ala.) 17: RCS has run into a couple of good teams the first two weeks, losing on the road at Perry Central and Escambia Academy. RCS will host Maplesville (1-0) at Gautier High School Friday night. The Eagles will play their first three home games at Gautier before moving to Pascagoula’s War Memorial Stadium in the final two home contests.

Perry Central 31, Pass Christian 14: Perry Central (2-0) has proven to be pretty tough early on. Pass Christian (0-2) has had a rough start after allowing Lanier to end a 20-game losing streak last week.

South Jones 28, West Harrison 17: After a 30-12 loss to Vancleave last week, West Harrison (1-1) has to find a way to get momentum back this week.

Archbishop Rummel (La.) 27, Gulfport 20: You have to give credit to Gulfport (1-1) for putting together another tough schedule. The Admirals have their last non-region tuneup on Sept. 8 with a home game against Picayune. This game will be played at 7 p.m. on Saturday in Metairie, La.

Christian Collegiate 35, Tensas 10: CCA rolls in at 2-0 with a couple of decisive wins to begin the season.

Mt. Olive 28, St. Patrick 14: The Fighting Irish hope to end a 23-game losing streak on their home field.

Patrick Magee: 228-896-2333, @Patrick_Magee