High School Sports

Plenty of shuffling at the bottom of latest Sun Herald Top 10 football poll

Pascagoula running back Dalvin Abney (7) carries the ball for a touchdown against Gautier during the first quarter, Friday, Sept. 8, 2017, at Gautier High School in Gautier. The Panthers enter this week’s Sun Herald poll at No. 10.
Pascagoula running back Dalvin Abney (7) carries the ball for a touchdown against Gautier during the first quarter, Friday, Sept. 8, 2017, at Gautier High School in Gautier. The Panthers enter this week’s Sun Herald poll at No. 10. Special to the Sun Herald

The teams in the top half of the Sun Herald’s weekly high school football rankings seem to have stabilized — at least for now — but the same can’t be said about the rest of the teams in the poll.

No. 1 Poplarville (4-0) returns as the top-ranked team in Mississippi’s six southern counties after rallying late to up-end No. 4 Stone (2-1) 20-14.

“This win is huge for us, huge for the way we came back and won it at the end, huge for how we persevered. We had heart, courage and faith all the way until the end,” said Jay Beech, Poparville’s head coach. “... It was big for us for someone to test us and hit us in the mouth.”

No. 2 Picayune (3-1) also made a statement Friday with a convincing 37-7 victory at Gulfport. The game marked Picayune’s third straight win over a Class 6A school.

No. 3 East Central (3-0) made a similar statement with a 31-7 win against an athletic Jefferson Davis County team.

This week’s movers

No. 5 St. Martin (3-1), No. 6 Long Beach (3-0) and No. 7 Hancock (3-0) all climbed a handful of spots this week, with No. 8 D’Iberville (1-3), St. Stanislaus (1-2) and Gulfport (1-3) all slipping after losses.

The two newcomers this week are No. 9 Ocean Springs (2-2) and No. 10 Pascagoula (2-2).

The Greyhounds jumped on a George County (0-4) team that’s still trying to find itself offensively and cruised to a 34-14 win. Ocean Springs had been searching for answers on offense, but in consecutive weeks the Greyhounds have scored 42 and 34 points, so perhaps things are beginning to trend up.

The Panthers, meanwhile, were aided by an all-time performance in their 40-21 rivalry win over Gautier. Dalvin Abney smashed a 24-year-old record Friday when he rushed for 355 yards, adding four touchdowns on 30 carries. He snapped Treg Thomas’ previous record of 331 yards, which was set in 1993.

Next up

This week is an odd schedule for Coast teams. Of the 13 games, only two games feature Coast-on-Coast matchups, with just four ranked teams in action.

No. 1 Poplarville travels to Heidelburg; Greene County visits No. 6 Long Beach; No. 3 East Central hosts Hazelhurst; and No. 7 Hancock plays at Lakeshore, Louisiana, to round out Friday’s ranked games.

Ranked teams on byes this week are No. 8 D’Iberville (1-3), No. 4 Stone, No. 2 Picayune, No. 5 St. Martin (3-1), No. 9 Ocean Springs (2-2) and No. 10 Pascagoula (2-2).

Sun Herald Top 10

Team (PTS)

Record

PVS

1. Poplarville (30)

4-0

1

2. Picayune (27)

3-1

2

3. East Central (24)

3-0

3

4. Stone (21)

2-1

4

5. St. Martin (18)

3-1

7

6. Long Beach (14)

3-0

9

7. Hancock (13)

3-0

8

8. D’Iberville (8)

1-3

5

9. Ocean Springs (5)

2-2

NR

10. Pascagoula (3)

2-2

NR

Dropped out: Gulfport (1; 1-3; 6), St. Stanislaus (1; 1-2; 10)

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