Patrick Magee

PATRICK'S PICKS: Can East Central, Harrison Central pull off upsets?

Video: Sports Guys: Week Nine

Sun Herald sports reporters Patrick Magee and Patrick Ochs are back for week nine of prep football. Among the games discussed are Hattiesburg at Pascagoula, Harrison Central at Gulfport and Biloxi at St. Martin.
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Sun Herald sports reporters Patrick Magee and Patrick Ochs are back for week nine of prep football. Among the games discussed are Hattiesburg at Pascagoula, Harrison Central at Gulfport and Biloxi at St. Martin.

We'll see three games Friday that have major implications on the Coast in Class 4A, 5A and 6A.

Region 8-4A could very well be decided when No. 7 St. Stanislaus goes to No. 8 East Central.

In 4-5A, No. 4 Pascagoula hosts Hattiesburg in a game that could be an elimination contest in the pursuit of a region championship.

In a big rivalry contest, Harrison Central hopes to help its standing in 4-6A with a tough trip to No. 2 Gulfport.

Following a shaky 9-4 performance last week, Patrick's Picks sits at 81-24 with four weeks remaining in the regular season.

St. Martin 35, Biloxi 14: The No. 3 Yellow Jackets (7-1, 2-1) are buzzing right along following their 28-10 loss to Gulfport to start region play. Biloxi was shutout last week by Ocean Springs and it's difficult to see the Indians keeping up on the road.

Ocean Springs 24, George County 14: The Greyhounds (6-1, 3-0) have pitched shutouts on back-to-back weeks but they haven't faced quite the offensive talent that George County has. The Rebels (4-3, 0-3) will get in the end zone a couple of times, but the Greyhounds will still come out on top on the road.

Gulfport 27, Harrison Central 17: The Admirals (5-2, 3-0) hold a stunning 32-5 all-time lead in this series and it's difficult to see that trend ending on the Admirals' home field. This game gives Harrison Central (3-5, 2-1) a chance to reboot the rivalry under first-year head coach Casey Cain.

D'Iberville 38, Hancock 20: D'Iberville should move its record to 5-4 and 3-1 against a Hancock team (3-5, 0-3) that has stumbled to five consecutive losses.

Gautier 28, Long Beach 17: The Bearcats have quietly played one of the tougher schedules for a 5A team on the Coast this season. Long Beach (1-7, 0-3) has a shot in this game, but Gautier (3-4, 1-2) needs this contest badly.

Pascagoula 17, Hattiesburg 14: Picayune beat Hattiesburg with a strong ground game last week and I expect Pascagoula (5-2, 3-0) to give it to junior running back Reginald Hunter a bunch Friday night. The Panthers' defense will have to step up to the task against a talented offense for Hattiesburg (6-2, 2-1).

Pearl River Central 42, West Harrison 10: No. 5 PRC is 6-1 and 3-0 and possibly the most underrated team on the Coast with three running backs just short of 700 yards - Christian Roberts, Michael Tatman and Hunter Holifield. This serves as a tall task for winless West Harrison (0-7, 0-3).

Picayune 38, Stone 14: The Maroon Tide has found its stride with four consecutive wins to sit at 4-3 and 3-0. Stone (2-5, 0-3) has put up a nice fight the last two weeks against Pascagoula and Gautier, but Picayune is a little too hot for the Tomcats.

Vancleave 17, Bay High 14: Credit has to be given to first-hear Vancleave head coach Lavon Capers, who has the Bulldogs playing much better after enduring a five-game losing streak. Last week's 25-24 win over Moss Point was a big one for the Bulldogs (3-5, 1-1). Bay High (3-4, 0-2) is fast falling behind in Region 8-4A and needs a win here badly.

Poplarville 27, Sumrall 14: Last week's 35-22 loss at Forrest County AHS was a head scratcher for Poplarville. The Hornets should get back on track against Sumrall, which is 2-6 and 0-2.

East Central 28, St. Stanislaus 27: East Central (5-2, 2-0) is built to beat teams like St. Stanislaus. If the Hornets run the ball well and avoid turnovers, they will have a good shot at taking down the pass-happy Rockachaws.

Pass Christian 14, Moss Point 13: Last week's loss to Vancleave was a significant setback for Moss Point (3-4, 0-2) and it doesn't get any easier against one of the better defensive teams on the Coast, Pass Christian (4-3, 1-1).

Tylertown 48, St. Patrick 6: Tylertown (6-1, 1-1) is one of the better Class 3A teams in the state with its only loss coming against 3A defending state champion Collins, 36-22, last week. St. Patrick (0-8, 0-2) has the misfortune of playing Tylertown and Collins on back-to-back weeks.

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