BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - The Friday Night Football Showdown is set for another exciting night of high school football action. A.J. Giardina and Patrick Clay will feature six games beginning Friday night at 10:15 on WLOX ABC-CBS.
In a battle of elite teams beginning at 7 p.m. Hazelhurst travels to Hurley to face home standing East Central. Hazelhurst is a Region 7-3A contender and the Hornets are contenders in the Region 8-4A ranks. Head coach Seth Smith has guided his Hornets to three straight wins including an impressive 31-7 victory over previously undefeated Jeff Davis County. The Indians enter Friday's showdown with 3 wins and 1 loss.
Hornets running back Tony Brown has ripped off 651 yards rushing, netting 8.8 yards per carry. East Central quarterback Will Young has completed 19 of 28 pass attempts for 191 yards and 2 touchdowns. Tight end Brad Cumbest, a 6-foot-6, 230 pound senior has 13 receptions for 153 yards and 2 touchdowns. Cumbest committed to Mississippi State during the summer and you can expect the Hornets will take advantage of his height once East Central gets into the red zone. Linebackers Avery White and Cade Miles have combined for 74 tackles. Free safety Andrew Seward, the 2016 WLOX Defensive Player of the Year, enters the Hazelhurst game with 31 tackles.
George County head coach Matt Caldwell will be looking for more offensive production when his Rebels take on Harrison Central in Lyman. Entering the Friday Night Football Showdown, the 0 and 4 Rebels have averaged just over 27 yards rushing per game. Harrison Central head coach Casey Cain watched his Red Rebels explode offensively two weeks ago in a 47-0 win over Forest Hill before a bye week last Friday. Senior running back Keon Moore headlines the Harrison Central offensive ground game, having rushed for 413 yards and 4 touchdowns.
The Friday Night Football Showdown will cover the Greene County at Long Beach game. Both teams are unbeaten. Greene County, a member of Region 7-4A, has won 4 straight games. Two of those wins were over coast teams. The Wildcats beat George County 14-13 and nipped the Vancleave Bulldogs 7-6. The Region 4-5A Bearcats (3-0) are coming off a stellar performance after beating Vancleave 50-7 last Friday.
Long Beach sophomore quarterback Cade Crosby has passed for 602 yards and 6 touchdowns. He's added 150 yards rushing. Bearcats junior running back Dennis Andrews has displayed power and speed, resulting in 332 rushing yards and 6 touchdowns. Long Beach head coach Forrest Williams has mixed his passing and running game to perfection. The Bearcats have averaged 223 yards rushing and 254 yards passing per game.
The next game on the Friday Night Football Showdown will be played in Moss Point sending the home standing Tigers (1-3) hosting the War Eagles (1-2) from Wayne County. Both teams are looking for more offensive production. War Eagles sophomore quarterback Zhak Wesley enters the Moss Point game with 257 passing yards and 170 yards rushing. The Tigers have been outscored 40 to 16 in the last two games. Moss Point head coach has been going with talented freshman quarterback Ruben Lee.
War Memorial Stadium is completing renovation of the turf and track and will officially be open for business on September 29 when Pascagoula battles Region 4-6A opponent Gulfport. Both the Panthers and Admirals have a bye-week. With War Memorial Stadium unavailable, the Resurrection Eagles travel back to Gautier High School in a Friday Night Football Showdown with Northlake Christian out of Louisiana.
Resurrection hopes to secure win No. 1 on Friday, entering the game at 0 and 4. Northlake Christian out of Covington has 1 win and 1 loss. Head coach Scott Sisson had his Eagles play a tough non-region schedule to get ready for play in the Region 4-1A ranks. Senior quarterback Blake Porter has thrown for 417 yards and 4 touchdowns.
The final game that will be featured on the Friday Night Football Showdown pits Pearl River Central (0-3) and St. Stanislaus (1-2) in the Bay. PRC is coming off a tough 21-18 setback to Forrest County AHS, while the Rockachaws dropped a 9-7 decision to Class 6A St. Martin. St. Stanislaus quarterback Jakob Greer has been the Rockachaws most productive offensive player. Heading into the PRC game, Greer has passed for 399 yards and two touchdowns and 129 rushing yards. The St. Stanislaus defense will focus their attention on Blue Devils quarterback Triston Anderson who has passed for 290 yards with 3 touchdowns and 113 rushing yards.
Here's a rundown of the other games set for Friday night: Running back Austin Bolton will lead undefeated Poplarville on the road at Heidelburg. Biloxi travels to Louisiana facing Northshore. Hancock also travels to Louisiana, a date with Lakeshore. Unbeaten Hancock has mixed its running and passing game to perfection. Quarterback Caleb Garcia has completed 22 of 38 pass attempts for 497 yards and 3 touchdowns. To keep defenses honest, Hawks head coach Neil Lollar has had 5-foot-8, 195 pound junior tailback carry the bulk of the Hancock ground attack. He enters the Lakeshore game with a team leading 302 yards rushing and 8 touchdowns.
Bay High is on the road at South Jones. St. Patrick takes aim on a three-peat, that's three consecutive wins. The Fighting Irish ended a 23-game losing streak two weeks ago and enter the game at Sacred Heart with back-to-back victories. Perry Central travels to Vancleave and Christian Collegiate is on the road at Russell Christian.
Ten teams have a bye-week: Pascagoula, Gulfport, Ocean Springs, D'Iberville, Picayune, St. Martin, Gautier, Stone, Pass Christian and West Harrison.
Get out and support your local high school football team! All high school games kick off at 7:00 p.m.