This season has been a rough one when it comes to picking high school football games.
In the seven games that featured Sun Herald-ranked teams, the higher seed or ranked opponent went 0-7. As you might expect, that put a hurting on Patrick's Picks.
It's not often I hover around .500, but I checked in at 8-7 a week ago.
With district play starting in full next week, several teams are off Friday night. There are 13 games on the slate in South Mississippi.
South Jones 21, West Harrison 10: South Jones sits at 4-0 and has already taken care of a pair of Coast squads, Long Beach and Pass Christian. West Harrison (1-2) is significantly improved this season, but the road gets much tougher from here on out.
Pass Christian 35, West Lincoln 14: The Pirates (2-2) have a good chance to finish above .500 in non-region play against a Class 2A team that is 1-3 so far. Expect senior running back V.J. Swanier to have another big game for the Pass.
Moss Point 21, Long Beach 20: Moss Point's 49-28 loss at Greene County was one of the more surprising outcomes from a week ago. The Tigers (2-2) need to get back on track against a Long Beach team that is 1-3 and showing gradual improvement.
No. 10 East Central 38, St. Martin 35: The most stunning loss of all last week was St. Martin's 46-24 defeat at the hands of Crestview (Fla.), a team that the Yellow Jackets beat 46-13 on the road a year ago. East Central (3-1) fell 40-7 at St. Martin a year ago, but I like the resurgent Hornets at home Friday night.
No. 1 Picayune 35, No. 9 Harrison Central 20: This may turn out to be the most entertaining game of the night. The Maroon Tide appears unstoppable at the moment, but the Red Rebels (2-1) are capable of slowing them down.
Bay High 42, St. Patrick 10: Bay High (1-3) finally broke through in a big way last week with a 55-42 win at Richton. Much like West Harrison, St. Patrick's schedule will only get tougher in the coming weeks.
No. 2 St. Stanislaus 28, No. 5 D'Iberville 24: SSC senior quarterback Myles Brennan enters the game 125 yards shy the state's career passing yardage record. The Warriors (2-1) will do everything they can to limit Brennan and the rest of the Rockachaws, but it will be difficult to deny a determined St. Stanislaus squad that understands history is on the line.
No. 4 Poplarville 34, Hancock 20: The Hornets (3-1) are a team full of potential and they showed what they're capable of last week in a 38-35 over Stone High. Hancock (3-1) has been a little better than expected, but Poplarville's rushing attack will be hard to contain.
No. 3 Ocean Springs 28, Murrah 14: The Greyhounds (2-1) will have the home field advantage and should be considered a heavy favorite. Murrah sits at 2-2 coming off a 34-14 loss at Provine.
Greene County 35, Vancleave 24: Vancleave (0-3) has shown a little progress each week, but Greene County (1-3) has shown it can score in bunches.
Christian Collegiate Academy 35, Calvary Christian 28: CCA (1-1) hasn't played since Aug. 26 so it should be well rested for this one.
No. 8 Pearl River Central 28, Slidell (La.) 14: The Blue Devils (2-1) picked up an impressive 47-21 win over Harrison Central a week ago. Louisiana teams have mostly handled Coast squads this season, but PRC should be fine on the road at Slidell (0-2).
Resurrection 35, Mount Olive 13: The Eagles (3-1) are beginning to hit their stride after a 24-21 win over a solid Class 3A team, Perry Central, last week.