BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Competition for a playoff slot is getting down to serious business along the Mississippi Gulf Coast. High school football teams kick off week 9 Friday night at 7:00 and some teams will try separating themselves from the pack.
Five teams are tied for first-place in the Region 4-6A ranks with 2 wins and 1 loss. George County, Biloxi, D'Iberville, Gulfport and St. Martin share the lead but with head-to-head games on tap, five teams won't be sharing first-place by the end of the night.
The St. Martin Yellow Jackets travel to Biloxi. The highly explosive Yellow Jackets have numerous offensive weapons with quarterback Wayne Overman pulling the trigger. He has passed for 2,242 yards and 28 touchdowns. Kalem Reddix is his go to receiver. Reddix has hauled-in 63 catches for 1,362 yards and 24 touchdowns. Reddix ranks second in the nation according to the latest MaxPreps.com statistics.
Biloxi has won back-to-back games, coming off an impressive 44-28 win against Ocean Springs. Junior quarterback Tucker Thomas has picked up his play and is a threat to run and throw the football. His top target in the passing game is senior receiver Tim Jones.
St. Martin head coach Eddie Wayne Whitehead said, "Biloxi is red hot. Offensively and defensively they're playing with a lot of fire. Tucker and Tim Jones are really special athletes. So, it's going to be a challenge for us."
Biloxi head coach Bobby Hall knows his Indians must play their best game to date. He said, "St. Martin has a lot of guys that make explosive plays. So, we need to do a really good job on keeping their explosive plays to a minimum and we need to make some.
George County quarterback LaRaymond Spivery has been leading another highly explosive offense. He'll lead the Rebels against Ocean Springs at Greyhounds Stadium on Friday. Spivery is leading the coast with 2,780 passing yards and has thrown for 20 touchdowns.
He has two outstanding receivers who can make the catch and make a run towards the end zone. Tyrese Fryfogle has 58 receptions for 968 yards and Rebels teammate Dwan Williams has 51 catches for 823 yards.
Last week George County blew past D'Iberville in the fourth quarter to post a 55-21 win over the Warriors. The Greyhounds lost to Biloxi.
The Gulfport Admirals bounced back under the win column last Friday with a 38-10 victory at Hancock. The Admirals travel to Lyman, facing rival Harrison Central. Gulfport has won 10 of the last 12 games against the Red Rebels.
Harrison Central will try ending a two game losing streak. Last week St. Martin coasted to a 41-7 win over the Red Rebels.
Picayune and Pascagoula are tied for the Region 4-5A lead with 3 and 0 records. The undefeated Maroon Tide will entertain 2 and 1 Stone in Picayune. While Pascagoula travels to 2 and 1 Hattiesburg.
Josh Littles carries the load for Picayune. After 7 games Littles has 1,418 rushing yards while the Tomcats have their own work horse in running back Terrion Avery. He leads Stone with 1,282 yards rushing.
There will be a Friday Night Football Showdown in the Bay sending the East Central Hornets at St. Stanislaus. Both the Hornets and Rockachaws are unbeaten in Region 8-4A play at 2 and 0.
St. Stanislaus quarterback Myles Brennan has already established the all-time passing record in the state and he should establish a new state record for total touchdown passes against East Central. He has 2,158 yards passing with 26 touchdowns and no interceptions. Corbin Blanchard and Chase Rogers have combined for 72 catches and 1,276 receiving yards.
The Hornets will test the Rockachaws defensive line. East Central running back Tony Brown leads the nation with 2.255 rushing yards. It should be an exciting game with first-place on the line.
The final Friday Night Football Showdown game that will be featured on WLOX ABC-CBS beginning at 10:15 sends Sacred Heart at Resurrection at War Memorial Stadium in Pascagoula. The Eagles are tied with Lumberton atop the Region 4-1A standings with 2 and 0 records. Sacred Heart brings a 2-2 worksheet to Pascagoula.
Resurrection running back Patrick Watts has 803 yards rushing on the season for the 6 and 1 Eagles.
In other high school games Friday night Hancock travels to D'Iberville, West Harrison at Pearl River Central, Long Beach entertains Gautier. Moss Point is on the road at Pass Christian, Bay High at Vancleave, Poplarville will have the home field advantage against Sumrall, Tylertown at St. Patrick and in 8-man football Christian Collegiate Academy is at home hosting Briarfield Academy (La.).
Get out and support your local high school team!