High School Sports

Patrick’s Picks: Playoff pursuit picks up in 8-4A, across South Mississippi

Region 8-4A wraps up regular season play Friday night with a single playoff bid on the line.

If you’re Moss Point, you win and you’re in.

If you’re Vancleave, you need to beat region champion East Central or hope that Moss Point loses to winless Bay High.

East Central has already locked up the No. 1 seed out of 8-4A and the No. 2 seed will be decided when St. Stanislaus travels to Pass Christian on Friday. SSC (5-4, 3-1) and Pass Christian (4-5, 2-2) have already earned postseason bids, but either team can earn a first-round home game in the playoffs with a victory.

There’s a possibility that Moss Point, Vancleave and Pass Christian could finish in a three-way tie for third at 2-3 in region play, but the Pirates already hold tie-breaker advantages over the two other teams.

I see Moss Point pulling out a 20-14 win over Bay High while East Central should be able to handle Vancleave, 38-10.

In that event, Moss Point will move on to the playoffs.

Here is how I see the rest of Friday’s games playing out:

Gulfport 28, Ocean Springs 14: If the Admirals win Friday or next week, they’ll lock up the top seed in Region 4-6A. Gulfport junior quarterback T.Q. Newsome left the game last week with a shoulder injury, but coach Eddie Pierce said Thursday that he will be available if necessary against the Greyhounds. If he can’t go, senior Jalen Knight will fill in at quarterback.

D’Iberville 27, Harrison Central 20: If you want to stay in the playoff hunt, you need to win this game. Both teams are tied with St. Martin for fourth in the region at 2-3.

St. Martin 24, Pascagoula 17: St. Martin (5-4, 2-3) is looking for its third win in a row while Pascagoula (3-6, 1-4) hopes senior running back Dalvin Abney can get going on the ground.

Hancock 28, Biloxi 27: With a win, Hancock can secure a first round playoff game in Kiln for the first time since 1990. Senior quarterback Brodie King breathed new life into the Biloxi offense last week, but the Hawks can score in bunches also.

Petal 31, George County 10: The Panthers (5-4, 3-2) need a win to stay on pace for the playoffs in Region 3-6A against a George County squad (2-8, 1-4) that continues to struggle on offense.

Wayne County 38, West Harrison 14: The War Eagles (4-5, 2-3) have to keep winning to have a chance at the postseason while West Harrison (1-8, 0-5) is no longer in the running.

Stone High 35, Pearl River Central 10: Stone High (5-3, 3-2) has a chance to be the dark horse in Class 5A South State if it continues to build on last week’s 44-21 beating of Wayne County.

Picayune 38, Gautier 17: Gautier (3-6, 2-3) needs an upset to keep its postseason hopes alive while Picayune (7-2, 4-1) should still be stinging after losing 41-37 to Hattiesburg in a classic battle last week.

St. Stanislaus 28, Pass Christian 14: The winner will be the No. 2 seed in Region 8-4A and land a first-round home playoff game. This game is in the Pass, but it’s hard to bet against the Rockachaws (5-4, 3-1).

Poplarville 45, Lawrence County 10: Lawrence County (3-7, 0-4) has given up a total of 106 points over the last two weeks while Poplarville (9-0, 4-0) has scored a total of 115.

Collins 35, St. Patrick 13: Collins (8-2, 3-0) has already locked up the Region 8-2A title while St. Patrick (3-6, 0-3) is seeking its first region victory.

Prentiss Christian 31, Christian Collegiate 20: CCA (4-5, 2-3) has managed just 6 points over the last two weeks while Prentiss Christian rolls in at 7-2 overall and 4-2 in the district.

Patrick Magee: 228-896-2333, @Patrick_Magee