Patrick Magee

Biloxi, Hancock show Region 4-6A is an absolute free-for-all

Biloxi running back Kenyatta Harrell steps over D'Iberville's Jacob Quave during the first quarter of their game at Biloxi Stadium on Friday, Sept. 22, 2016.
Biloxi running back Kenyatta Harrell steps over D'Iberville's Jacob Quave during the first quarter of their game at Biloxi Stadium on Friday, Sept. 22, 2016. jcfitzhugh@sunherald.com

I said last week that Region 4-6A would be “up for grabs” headed into the start of competition Friday night.

It turns out that has been proven to be a vast understatement after just one week of region play. Following Friday night's outcomes, the best way to describe 4-6A is an absolute free-for-all.

The biggest stunner Friday night was Biloxi's 26-23 over region favorite D'Iberville, which is now just 1-4 after beginning the season with big expectations. Biloxi (1-4, 1-0) had shown progress in recent weeks, but not many folks gave the Indians a shot against D'Iberville.

Hancock's 28-20 win at Ocean Springs shouldn't come as much of a surprise, but it provides proof that first-year head coach Neil Lollar has the Hawks ready to contend for the first time in a long time. In a season when there is no dominant squad, it leaves room for an up-and-coming program like Hancock.

At the moment, Hancock (4-1, 1-0) may have the most dynamic offense in the region.

Gulfport continued its run of domination against St. Martin with junior quarterback T.Q. Newsome returning from injury to lead the Admirals to a 30-7 win Friday night at Milner Stadium. Now that Gulfport (2-3, 1-0) has its quarterback back and a defense that should be the best group in the region, the Admirals have a shot to take on the label of 4-6A favorite.

The Pascagoula-Harrison Central game was important for both teams' postseason hopes and the Red Rebels are thanking their lucky stars after turning disaster into victory Friday night. A botched extra point attempted turned into a two-point conversion in overtime, lifting Harrison Central to a 29-27 victory.

Expect the unexpected the rest of the way in 4-6A.

Battle of perfect teams

After Class 1A, Class 5A and Class 6A began region competition in South Mississippi Friday night, Class 2A and Class 4A get their turns this week.

Greene County took care of business Friday night on the road to close out non-region play, beating Moss Point 13-7 to improve to 6-0.

That outcome means the start of Region 7-4A competition will feature a battle of the undefeateds with No. 1 Poplarville (5-0) playing host to Greene County Friday night. No. 1 Poplarville (5-0) will be the favorite on its home field, but Greene County continues to surprise with each week.

Greene County was 4-7 a year ago, but first-year head coach Michael King has the Wildcats believing.

“They haven't wavered a whole lot. Any time we see looks of disbelief or uncertainty we correct that immediately and those guys pick it up usually,” King said. “Our philosophy is if they're down we lift them up. If our guys get a little inflated, kind of big-headed we try to bring them back down to earth.”

The Greene County-Poplarville winner should have a relatively simple path to the No. 1 seed out of 7-4A.

Game Ball

Biloxi head coach Bobby Hall was clearly frustrated at times as his team went through a tough luck stretch to begin the season, starting 0-4.

On Friday night, Hall showed again why he's a hall of fame coach. The Indians' upset win over D'Iberville has earned Hall this week's Game Ball for the best coaching performance of the week.

The Indians rallied after a bumpy start to reach the postseason last year and they have a chance to put together a repeat if they build on Friday night's contest.

Biloxi will play host to Harrison Central at 7 p.m. this Friday.

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