Gulfport gets over the hump, still searching for respect

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As if the gravity of a do-or-die playoff scenario wasn’t enough, Gulfport doubled down on the pressure in its first round match-up against George County and lived to tell about it.

In a game the Admirals converted just one more extra point than the opposition, they finally erased what was a seven game first round losing streak with a 20-19 victory over the Rebels.

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Their reward is another ‘News 25 Game of the Week’ in a rematch with the defending 6A South State champion Oak Grove Warriors who already took down Gulfport 37-13 on the first day of September.

But that was a long time ago and ever since that home loss, Gulfport is 8-1 fresh off its third straight region 4 class 6A championship.

They say it’s hard to beat the same team twice in the same season and that’s exactly what Head Coach John Archie is banking on. “Our guys understand now that it’s win or go home now. I think we kind of had a double-sided pressure last week. It’s win or go home also, you know that nine-year jinx of getting out of the first round of the playoffs was on us last week. Now it’s just we’ve got that pressure, we’ve got to win or go home. And I’m kind of playing that into my guys’ head. I still don’t think we’ve got the respect that we need and our guys kind of understand that also and we’re trying to gain that respect.”

The Admirals and Warriors will kick things off from Gulfport’s Milner Stadium at 7 p.m. Friday.

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A native of Pass Christian and a St. Stanislaus alum, Jeff Haeger comes to News 25 from right in our backyard. He most recently spent more than three years working as the sports reporter for WHLT-TV in Hattiesburg, where he provided extensive coverage of his alma mater, The University of Southern Mississippi. At Southern Miss, Jeff was a member of the Honors College and graduated with a B.A. degree in Broadcast Journalism with a minor in Spanish. He also wrote for USM's award-winning school newspaper, The Student Printz, where he won first place for Best Sports Story in 2013. Jeff loves to travel, and is excited to get back on the water to reunite with his family. In his spare time you can find Jeff spending time with his friends, and maybe even winning a fantasy football league. For sports stories contact Jeff at jhaeger@wxxv25.com.

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