Patrick Magee

Dodd Lee has Picayune back on track in Region 4-5A play

Many began to declare Picayune's season doomed when it started 0-3 and was having a hard time slowing anyone down on defense. Four consecutive wins later, the Maroon Tide suddenly looks ready to contend for another Region 4-5A title.

Picayune picked up a road win over region favorite Hattiesburg, 28-27, Friday night to improve to 4-3 and 3-0 in region play.

Picayune started the season with a lot of injuries and it's obvious that coach Dodd Lee's team is starting to look healthier by the week.

This should remind us that you should never count out a Dodd Lee-coached squad.

With Stone High and Long Beach waiting the next two weeks for Picayune, there's a good chance it will be 5-0 in region play headed into the final two games of the regular season - an Oct. 30 road game at Pascagoula and the Nov. 6 rivalry contest at home against Pearl River Central.

The key contest in 4-5A this week will be Pascagoula hosting Hattiesburg. Both teams have battled through early season injuries to remain in the postseason hunt.

Pascagoula is 5-2 and 3-0 despite playing without Jakwaize Walker and Javarous Walker due to injury. Javarous Walker, a running back, went down with an injury before the season and Jakwaize Walker was seeing plenty of time at defensive back and quarterback before suffering an injury.

Pascagoula coach Lewis Sims sat out star junior running back Reginald Hunter Friday in a 35-7 win over West Harrison just to make sure he'd be healthy for this week's Hattiesburg game.

Hattiesburg is 6-2 and 2-1 and still as dangerous as any Class 5A team in the state.

Pearl River Central (6-1, 3-0), Hattiesburg, Pascagoula and Picayune all appear to be teams capable of making a run to the 5A state title contest in Oxford. It just so happens that all four teams are in the same region.

In Region 8-4A, there's a chance that the regular season title will be decided this week when St. Stanislaus (4-3, 2-0) travels to East Central (5-2, 2-0).

While the Rockachaws may have more weapons on offense, East Central plays the style of football that should give SSC problems. The Hornets keep the ball on the ground and run time off the clock. If East Central keeps the ball out of SSC quarterback Myles Brennan's hands, it has a good shot at pulling out the big win in Hurley.

East Central beat Pass Christian, 12-7, Friday to earn a big region win on the road, but the Pirates appear a team in good position to reach the playoffs. There's no denying that Pass Christian (4-3, 1-1) is the most improved team on the Coast after going 2-8 last season.

In Region 4-6A, No. 3 St. Martin 7-1, 2-1) appears back to the high-scoring brand of ball it showed early in the season with a 42-14 over Harrison Central Friday night.

No. 1 Ocean Springs (6-1, 3-0) is winning games with defense after putting up back-to-back shutout wins over D'Iberville and Biloxi.

The next four weeks should be fun with No. 2 Gulfport (5-2, 3-0), Ocean Springs and St. Martin all seeming capable of taking the region championship.

Contact Patrick Magee at pmagee@sunherald.com and follow him@Patrick_Magee on Twitter.

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