The road to Starkville continues Friday night with eleven local teams attempting to clear the next hurdle. Another team, Christian Collegiate Academy, remains in the hunt for the MAIS 8-man football championship.
D'Iberville captured the Region 4-6A title and earned a home game in the opening round of the Class 6A state playoffs. The Warriors under first-year head coach Eric Collins entertain Petal. The Warriors will pound the football running a solid Wing-T offensive attack. Fullback Micah "18 Wheeler" Booker leads the D'Iberville ground attack with 1003 rushing yards and 19 touchdowns.
George County responded in a positive way under first-year head coach Matt Caldwell. He guided the Rebels to a second-place finish behind D'Iberville. George County will have a home playoff game hosting a very good Meridian Wildcat team. The Rebels rely heavily on senior quarterback LaRaymond Spivery. He has passed for 3,964 yards, 27 touchdowns and only 6 picks. Besides his passing ability, Spirvery can tuck the ball in and take off scrambling past defenders to the tune of 1,171 yards and 15 touchdowns.
Gulfport dropped an early season game to Brandon and the Admirals get a chance for revenge on the road at Brandon. The Admirals defense must buckle-up and stymie a Bulldogs explosive offensive team.
Biloxi under veteran head coach Bobby Hall open the 6A playoffs on the road at Pearl. The Pirates have loads of talent and will present a stiff challenge. It will take another valiant effort for the Indians to advance into the second-round.
Region 4-5A champion Picayune kicks off the Class 5A playoffs at home, a date with Wingfield. The Maroon Tide enjoy running the football and why not with Josh Littles leading the way. He has 2,006 rushing yards and 23 touchdowns. Shaun Anderson adds another threat in the offensive backfield. He has 780 yards rushing with 8 touchdowns.
Pascagoula has a road game at Wayne County. The Panthers will count on the running back duo of Javorous Walker and Reginald Hunter. They try to use ball control to keep the ball away from the War Eagles.
Stone high under first-year head coach John Feaster travel to Laurel. The Tomcats also rely heavily on a rushing attack with Terrion Avery having exploded for 2,115 yards and 25 touchdowns.
Region 4-8A champion St. Stanislaus takes the next step in trying to end up back into the Class 4A state championship game for the third consecutive season. Class 4A Mr. Football, quarterback Myles Brennan will lead his pass happy Rockachaws against Mendenhall in Bay St. Louis in a second-round playoff game.
Region 7-4A champion Poplarville also has the home field advantage in their 4A second-round playoff game. The Hornets tackle Quitman, a team that has a 365 pound nose tackle and two defensive end who tip the scales at 260 pounds. A Poplarville win, coupled with a St. Stanislaus victory, would set-up a Hornets-Rockachaws clash for the Class 4A South State semifinals next Friday.
East Central goes after a second straight 4A playoff victory. The Hornets travel to Florence. The Hornets will hand the ball off to Tony Brown. The junior running back has ripped off 3,076 yards rushing, cracking the goal line 40 times. Brown ranks third in the latest MaxPreps national rushing statistics.
Resurrection kicks off the Class 1A playoffs at War Memorial Stadium in Pascagoula. The Eagles are trying to advance to the state finals for the second consecutive years, hosting Noxapater.
Christian Collegiate advanced to the MAIS 8-man football championship game in 2015 before losing their only game to Tallulah, Louisiana. The Bulldogs travel to Tallulah for a second-round playoff game Friday. During the regular season Tallulah defeated Christian Collegiate 61-40, but a number of key players received injuries and didn't play in the second half. Coach Joe Roberts believes his team is ready for Tallulah, looking to upset the top-ranked and undefeated Trojans.
Tune-in to the Friday Night Football Showdown at 10:15 p.m. on WLOX ABC-CBS with A.J. Giardina and Tyler Bouldin to get game highlights and all the scores. Later you can tune-in to The Bounce Channel or log-on to WLOX.com to watch the Post Game Show.
Get out and support your local team!