GAUTIER, MS (WLOX) - Gautier head coach Chris Peterson knows the real season kicks off Friday when his Gators entertain top-ranked and defending 5A State Champion Picayune Friday night. He says the Maroon Tide of head coach Dodd Lee are always in the state title hunt.
Peterson said,"They never expect to get beat. They always have the mind-set and confidence that we're going to go out and pound you. There's nothing you can do to stop it and we're going to be victorious. I have a lot of respect for their program the job Lee has done. We have a tremendous opportunity in front of us and we've got to take advantage of anything we can get."
If Gautier is to pull off an upset, junior quarterback LeCharles Pringle will be one of the keys to victory. He suffered a hair line fracture on his throwing hand a few weeks ago. On Friday he helped guide the Gators past Vancleave 22-14, mixing the run with his passing ability.
Pringle said."First I had to work with the cast and learn how to throw with it to keep playing. I didn't want to be out too long. The doctor helped me cut it so I could work with the cast on but after that I just tape it up because it's not healed all the way."
Coach Peterson decided to give defensive standout Dante Tubbs a chance at playing on the offensive side of the football and Tubbs responded in a big way Friday, ripping off this 42- yard touchdown.
He remains the Gators defensive sparkplug from his linebacker post making tackle after tackle.
"I just have a nose for the football,"stated Tubbs. "I'm just a ball hawk around the ball and find a way to get there."
In close games, kicking specialist Josh Penton can make a difference. Last season he connected on 7 of 10 field goals with his longest sailing 45 yards. This year he's 1 for 3.
Penton said,"We attempted two in the D'Iberville game. One was 50 and the other one was 52 yards. Coming back off a miss from a kicker is hard but regrouping and getting your confidence back, it does a lot for you."
On the Friday Night Football Showdown Post Game Show on WLOX.com we'll show you Gautier's new field house. It's state of the art and rivals some small colleges.