And then there were three.
As the dust settled on Friday night, only Picayune, East Central and Poplarville remained as Coast football squads still in contention for their respective state championships.
After holding off Petal 33-28 back in August, Gulfport’s rematch with the Panthers didn’t exactly go as planned. The Admirals were shut out by Petal 34-0 on their home turf, ending their season at 10-2.
Ocean Springs (7-5) only trailed by two at halftime, but Pearl pulled away in the second half as the Greyhounds fell to the defending 6A state champion Pirates 28-12.
Already facing tall odds as a 4-seed visiting a 1-seed, St. Martin turned plenty of heads by tying Brandon at 28 late in the game. However, the Bulldogs lined up a game-winning field goal as time expired, ending the Yellow Jackets' (7-5) season in heartbreak with a 31-28 loss.
In our other area Class 6A playoff score, Harrison Central (8-4) fell to Oak Grove 45-14.
Picayune entered tonight’s contest averaging just over 55 points per game in district play, and the Maroon Tide kept things rolling in their Class 5A playoff opener, dominating Natchez to the tune of a 55-8 victory. Picayune (10-3) will now visit Laurel in the second round.
Despite taking a 23-22 lead with just minutes to play, Stone (4-7) came up just a bit short in their playoff opener, falling to West Jones 25-23 as their season comes to a close.
Trailing Greene County 7-3 at half, East Central rallied in the second to put away the Wildcats 17-7. East Central (11-0) will now host West Lauderdale in the third round of the Class 4A playoffs.
Poplarville continued their dominant ways, rocking Northeast Lauderdale 40-8 in their second round playoff contest. The Hornets (11-1) will now host South Pike in the third round.
In Class 1A, Resurrection (6-5) saw their season come to an end at the hands of Nanih Waiya for the second straight season, falling to the Warriors 48-0.