Bobby Hall’s hoping he can look back at last Tuesday’s phone call as perhaps the moment that changed the entire dynamic of Biloxi’s season.
The Indians football coach recalled being in a meeting in Gulfport last week when his assistant’s phone rang. It was Brodie King calling his dad, David King.
The third-year BHS coach hadn’t expected King back after he broke his left fibula early in the season opener against St. Stanislaus. Hall knew King was going to the doctor, but he only expected a typical checkup.
What he got instead was a lifeline.
“I hear Coach King say ‘really? You want to get some reps?’” Hall recalled after learning King had been cleared for contact. “I called him back and said, ‘you’re not getting some reps; you’re getting all of them.’”
King looked anything but rusty in the Indians’ 52-28 win over Pascagoula, completing 15 of 25 passes for 217 yards and two touchdowns.
The performance was good enough to land the Sun Herald’s Player of the Week honor.
“He practiced two days in nine weeks and looked like Joe Montana, you know?” Hall said in a way that only the Hall of Fame high school coach can. “He’s flinging that ball around.”
King was just thankful for a second chance at his senior season.
“It was really tough for someone to tell you you’re not going to play again. I thought I wasn’t going to play at all this year but my recovery went pretty well so I was able to come back,” he said. “I was just anxious to get back out on the field. I wasn’t real sure how the leg was going to do in the game, but once I got out there it felt like I was playing again.”
Hall said backup quarterback Kam Suddeth did a “fabulous” job in place of King — adding that the Indians wouldn’t have won the games they did without his play — but he’s comforted by having his starter back as Biloxi enters an important final two weeks of the regular season.
Although the Indians (3-6, 3-2) are currently third in Region 4-6A, they arguably have the most difficult finish with Friday’s 7 p.m. game at Hancock (7-2, 4-1) before hosting archrival Gulfport (6-3, 5-0) next week. Harrison Central (3-6, 2-3), St. Martin (5-4, 2-3), D’Iberville (3-6, 2-3), Pascagoula (3-6, 1-4) and Ocean Springs (3-6, 1-4) round out the cluttered Coast division.
Friday’s a big one for the Hawks, too, as a win would secure Hancock’s first home playoff game since 1990.
“It would be a good step in the right direction as far as where our program is headed. They have taken it upon themselves to put themselves in position and have done so,” HHS coach Neil Lollar said. “They still have a lot of work to do and they understand that. They deserve it. Just as every team does, but this group is a special group. I feel like if they can somehow pull this out and finish Friday night on a good note, I think it would be a well deserved (post-game) team meeting.”
A win Friday would be a chance for the Hawks’ senior class to potentially leave a lasting legacy on its community.
“When they were ninth graders they went to the playoffs with that group in 2014. Essentially they can start and end their high school careers in the playoffs,” Lollar said. “We talk to them about not just being another class that rolls through. You’re setting this program up to show the younger guys what’s possible.”
Biloxi owns a 10-4 advantage in the series dating back to 2003. After losing close games the previous two seasons, Biloxi pulled out a 27-7 victory last year.
For both programs there’s one big way to inch toward a new normal: A win Friday.
Who: Biloxi at Hancock
When: 7 p.m. Friday
Online: For LIVE updates throughout the night, check SunHerald.com