The playoff picture entering the final week of the regular season is again chaotic for Region 4-6A.
First-place D'Iberville (7-3, 5-1) and George County (6-4, 4-2) are both in the postseason and eligible to win the regular season title, but the final two playoff spots are up in the air.
Biloxi (6-4, 4-2) is in if it wins at arch rival Gulfport (5-5, 3-3). The Indians can lose and still get in if D'Iberville beats St. Martin (6-5, 3-3). If Biloxi loses and St. Martin wins, Biloxi is left out of the playoffs.
St. Martin can get in with a win over D'Iberville or if it loses and is involved in a three-way tie for fourth place at 3-4 with Gulfport and Harrison Central.
Gulfport gets in the playoffs with a win over Biloxi or if it loses and is involved in a three-way tie for fourth at 3-4 with Ocean Springs and St. Martin.
Harrison Central (4-6, 2-4) and Ocean Springs (5-5, 2-4) are both eliminated due to a series of tie-breakers.
It's a confusing playoff picture that would cause heart burn for any head coach.
“In all my years of coaching, I've never seen anything quite like this with the parity in this district,” George County coach Matt Caldwell said.
No matter what happens Friday night, there are going to be a couple of talented teams on the outside looking in.
A look at 5A
While seeding is still very much up in the air in Region 4-5A, there are three teams assured playoff bids – Stone High (8-2, 5-1), Picayune (9-1, 5-1) and Hattiesburg (8-3, 5-1).
The final playoff bid out of 4-5A will be decided when Pascagoula travels to Gautier. The winner moves on and the loser is home for the postseason.
Gautier (4-6, 3-3) hasn't beaten Pascagoula (5-5, 4-2) since the opener of the 2009 season.
Gautier has had an up and down season, but head coach Chris Peterson likes the direction of his team following Friday's 56-19 win at West Harrison.
“We've got a good football team, but we're young in spots,” Peterson said. “A lot of those spots have grown over the year. As a whole, we're just beginning to gel. We're happy to be where we're at.”
4A playoffs begin
There was very little drama in the final week of the regular season in Region 8-4A with all the playoff bids settled.
The first round match-ups are settled in 4A South State:
No. 1 seed St. Stanislaus (9-1) will play host to Greene County (4-6) and No. 2 seed East Central (7-4) will welcome Forrest County AHS (4-6).
No. 3 seed Moss Point (5-5) will travel to Purvis and No. 4 seed Pass Christian (5-5) will make the difficult trek to take on Poplarville, which rolled to a Region 7-4A title with an 8-1 overall mark and a 5-0 region record.
While St. Stanislaus remains the favorite to win the Class 4A South State title for a third consecutive season, Poplarville may present the biggest challenge that the Rockachaws have seen over the last three years.