The first week of the high school football season provided some surprises, none more dramatic than Moss Point's 18-13 win over Pascagoula.
There was also Stone High's stunning 49-6 victory at Vancleave, possibly providing a sign that the Tomcats are set for a quick turnaround under first-year head coach John Feaster.
The topsy turvy first week led to a disappointing outcome for yours truly. Patrick's Picks stumbled out of the gate with a 7-5 record.
We have a full slate of 18 games this week with Gulfport-Petal, Gautier-Moss Point and Stone High-East Central among the more intriguing matchups.
To the picks:
Hancock 24, West Harrison 17: The Hurricanes are riding high after ending a 22-game losing streak with a 35-14 win over Bay High in the opening week. Hancock also started off hot with a 31-6 win over Pass Christian. I see the Hawks celebrating for a second consecutive week.
Resurrection 21, Pass Christian 14: RCS appears to be even more potent on offense this season with junior quarterback Blake Porter showing improvement in his second season as the starter. Pass Christian will have to pick it up on offense after taking it on the chin against Hancock.
Ocean Springs 17, Pascagoula 14: The Panthers (0-1) are a talented squad, but the loss to Moss Point has me thinking they have some early season issues to work through. Whichever defense shows up the best at War Memorial Stadium will get the first win of the season.
Moss Point 26, Gautier 20: The Tigers have the most impressive win of the young season so far, ending a five-game losing streak to Pascagoula. Gautier fell 42-14 at George County, but the Gators are better than that score indicates.
East Central 28, Stone 27: This is one of the better contests in week two with Stone High head coach John Feaster and East Central head coach Seth Smith both being close friends. We'll see similar styles on offense, but the difference may come in the passing game with East Central quarterback Rylee Brown and wingback Brad Cumbest showing a nice connection a week ago in a 61-21 over St. Luke's of Mobile.
Petal 24, Gulfport 17: Petal (1-0) topped Hattiesburg 56-42 in a barn burner last week while Gulfport's defense dominated in a 42-0 win over Long Beach. Gulfport has a chance to make a statement for the entire Coast if it can put a stop to Petal running back Stephon Huderson, a Tulane commit, and the rest of the defending 6A South State champs.
St. Martin 45, MRA 14: The Yellow Jackets (1-0) beat Madison-Ridgeland Academy 41-20 last season. There's a good chance it gets a little uglier in Madison Friday night.
Picayune 28, D'Iberville 21: Running back Josh Littles is back for his senior year at Picayune. If he stays healthy, he'll put up numbers that rank among the better Maroon Tide tailbacks. D'Iberville may have to endure some early season growing pains under first-year head coach Eric Collins.
Columbia Academy 28, St. Patrick 10: Columbia Academy (1-0) is now led by former Southern Miss assistant Randy Butler and his team made short work of Sacred Heart 42-13 last week. St. Patrick (0-1) is badly in need of a confidence builder after losing 49-0 at Resurrection.
McComb 35, Harrison Central 24: McComb (1-0) was impressive on offense in week one with a 63-42 win over Columbia. The Red Rebels are led by senior quarterback Tavis Williams, but it may be hard to keep pace with the Tigers.
Long Beach 28, South Jones 14: The team making the biggest turnaround from week one will be Long Beach after losing 42-0 to Gulfport in the Shrimp Bowl. South Jones is 1-0, but its win is over Class 2A Richton.
Tate (Fla.) 31, Biloxi 24: The Indians (0-1) fell 38-7 at Tate a year ago. The Indians should be much better on offense this time around, but probably not good enough.
St. Paul's (Ala.) 42, St. Stanislaus 24: Last year's trip to St. Paul's is one the Rockachaws have been trying to forget after the Saints rolled to a 51-24 in Mobile. The Rockachaws are out for revenge Friday, but they likely have too much ground to make up against a talented squad in Bay St. Louis.
George County 45, Greene County 10: This is a longstanding rivalry, but the Rebels should be in full command Friday night.
Taylorsville 17, Bay High 14: Taylorsville doesn't appear to be quite as good as in the past following a 42-13 loss to Bay Springs, but the Tartars are a prideful program. I don't expect Taylorsville to repeat last week's performance against Bay High (0-1).
Franklin (La.) Academy 14, Christian Collegiate Academy 10: It was surprising to see CCA fall 16-0 on the road in the season opener at Tensas (La.). We'll see if the Bulldogs can find their way back this week.
Poplarville 27, Pearl River Central 24: This should be another fun one with Poplarville (0-1) looking to rebound after a 35-14 loss at St. Martin. PRC won 34-29 at Forrest County AHSlast week, but the test should be a little tougher against the Hornets and their talented backfield.