High School Sports

Sun Herald Top 10: Pearl River Central climbs into Top 3

 Pearl River Central running back Michael Tatman and the Blue Devils have steadily climbed up the Sun Herald rankings this season. PRC jumped two spots to No. 3 this week.
AMANDA McCOY/SUN HERALD Pearl River Central running back Michael Tatman and the Blue Devils have steadily climbed up the Sun Herald rankings this season. PRC jumped two spots to No. 3 this week.

For several weeks the Sun Herald's rankings have remained the same at the top, with Ocean Springs, Gulfport and St. Martin entrenched as the leaders on the Coast.

Well move over Yellow Jackets, because Pearl River Central is crashing the party. After up-ending Pascagoula 17-7 on Friday, the Blue Devils (8-1) jumped two spots to No. 3. The move was coupled with St. Martin's 31-29 loss at No. 1 Ocean Springs.

PRC's win put it in sole possession of first place in Region 4-5A.

"This game was extremely important," PRC running back Christian Roberts said. "We had to win to get to where we wanted to be in the playoffs."

As for St. Martin (8-2), which slipped one spot to No. 4, they'll need to regroup quickly as it travels to a George County team that's coming off of a 41-17 win over Biloxi.

"I know I'd contend this is the best game that's been played (in the last 10 games against Ocean Springs), but that doesn't make you feel any better," St. Martin coach Eddie Wayne Whitehead said. "Our kids aren't any happier about losing and we're not going to accept losing. That's not what we're about. We're just going to have to come back next week."

No. 1 Ocean Springs (8-1) has won eight straight and relied on a mix offensively to keep St. Martin off balance. The Greyhounds passed for 108 yards and were led on the ground by Matthew Pleasant's three-touchdown, 147-yard performance, his second-highest mark of the season.

"He had a couple of explosive plays tonight that really helped us," OSHS coach Ryan Ross said. "He has great vision. Just an overall great football player. I'm glad he's on my team."

No. 2 Gulfport (7-2) put in another convincing win Friday, defeating D'Iberville 35-17. Senior Deon Cole did a little of everything. He had a 98-yard pick-six and also rushed for three touchdowns.

Will anyone in Class 1A put up a fight against No. 5 Resurrection? The Eagles (8-0) moved up one spot after steam rolling Bogue Chitto 55-0.

No. 6 Pascagoula (6-3) dropped two spots after losing at PRC. One week after knocking off Hattiesburg in thrilling fashion, the Panthers couldn't muster much on offense.

No. 7 St. Stanislaus (6-3) continued its air assault on Region 8-4A in Friday's

41-14 win over Moss Point. Myles Brennan passed for 415 yards and go-to tight end Chase Rogers eclipsed the 1,100-yard mark on the season by hauling in four passes for 143 yards.

The Hornets' first season in Class 4A has gone well. Friday, No. 8 East Central (7-3), up three spots, clipped Bay High 27-13. Once again, running back A.J. Davis led the coast with 257 yards and three touchdowns.

As for No. 9 D'Iberville (5-5), down one spot, it's difficult to win when you throw three interceptions and lose another three fumbles. The Warriors will have to clean things up Friday against a Harrison Central team that defeated Hancock 42-21.

Perhaps the stunner of the week was then-No. 9 Picayune (5-4) falling in overtime to Long Beach 46-34. Without running back Joshua Littles, the Maroon Tide relied on a number of players to fill the void but were unable to hold onto a late lead.

Looking ahead

This week's lineup features two Top 10 showdowns. The mega-game will pit No. 1 Ocean Springs at No. 2 Gulfport with the winner leading the way for the 4-6A title. No. 10 Picayune will also travel to No. 6 Pascagoula with both teams looking to rebound. Other Top 10 action includes No. 9 D'Iberville hosting Harrison Central, No. 4 St. Martin at George County, No. 3 PRC at Hattiesburg, Vancleave hosting No. 8 East Central, NO. 7 St. Stanislaus at Pass Christian and No. 5 Resurrection at Lumberton.

Sun Herald reporter Patrick Magee contributed to this report.

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