Friday was certainly a statement night for teams across South Mississippi.
Specifically, a handful of the Coast’s ranked teams avenged 2015 losses. Boy did they ever.
No. 1 St. Stanislaus (2-0), No. 2 Gulfport (2-0), No. 5 Moss Point (2-0), No. 6 Harrison Central (1-0) and Picayune (1-0) and Poplarville (1-1) — both ranked No. 8 this week — lost by a combined 200-122 a year ago.
All six schools earned at least a modicum of revenge Friday. St. Stanislaus defeated St. Paul’s of Mobile 49-26; Gulfport hung on to beat nationally-ranked Petal 15-12; Moss Point handled Gautier 28-6; Harrison Central won a shootout with McComb 53-40; Picayune took care of business at D’Iberville 35-7; and Poplarville earned a 24-21 rivalry victory over Pearl River Central.
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“Our kids fought the whole game. Even when we fell behind we didn't give up,” Gulfport coach Eddie Pierce said. “That's what we preach every week. I'm very, very proud of them. Our defense just played super.”
In addition to the aforementioned results: No. 3 St. Martin (2-0) earned a 51-28 road win at Madison-Ridgeland Academy; No. 4 George County (2-0) defeated Greene County 51-28; Stone (2-0) kept its winning ways under new coach John Feaster with a 33-28 win at East Central; and Ocean Springs (1-1) bounced back to pick up a 20-7 rivalry win over Pascagoula.
While this week’s top five teams stayed the same, the bottom five saw plenty of shakeup. HCHS and Poplarville jumped up two spots, Stone improved three positions and both Picayune and Ocean Springs joined the land of the ranked.
East Central (1-1), PRC (1-1) and Resurrection (1-1), which lost 35-28 at Pass Christian (1-1), fell out of the rankings.
This week’s slate of games features two Top 10 showdowns as No. 5 Moss Point visits No. 6 Harrison Central and No. 8 Picayune hosts No. 3 St. Martin in a contrast of offensive styles.
Other games include Long Beach at St. Stanislaus, George County at Petal, Stone vs. Forrest County AHS at St. Patrick, De La Salle (La.) at Gulfport, Poplarville at Lumberton and Ocean Springs will play at Hammond (La.).
Sun Herald Top 10
Rank School Record Points PVS
1. St. Stanislaus (2-0) 29 1
2. Gulfport (2-0) 28 2
3. St. Martin (2-0) 24 3
4. George County (2-0) 21 4
5. Moss Point (2-0) 18 5
6. Harrison Central (1-0) 14 8
7. Stone (2-0) 13 T10
T8. Picayune (1-0) 6 RV
T8. Poplarville (1-1) 6 T10
10. Ocean Springs (1-1) 3 NR
Receiving votes: East Central (1-1; 2; 7), Resurrection (1-1; 1; 6)
Dropped out: Pearl River Central (1-1; 0; 9)