Six Coast teams left in high school football playoffs
The second round of the high school football playoffs is less than 24 hours away and six Coast teams are still in the mix for a trip to South State including defending 5A State Champion Picayune.
The Maroon Tide is coming off a 24-9 victory over Laurel in the first round and it doesn’t get any easier from here as West Jones comes to town fresh off its 38-0 thumping of a very capable East Central squad.
The Mustangs actually ended Picayune’s season in 2020, but this isn’t the same Tide team, currently riding a 23-game winning streak led by U.S. Army Bowl All-American Dante Dowdell, who has more than 1,500 yards rushing and 20 touchdowns.
On the other side of the bracket, Gautier riding high after taking down Wayne County 38-21 despite trailing 13-0 in the first quarter.
The Gators facing a familiar foe in round two, following Vancleave’s upset road win at Hattiesburg, setting the stage for a Region 4 rematch.
Gautier has a U.S. Army Bowl All-American of its own in Kaden Irving, who leads the state with 57 total touchdowns, eight of those coming against the Bulldogs in their last match-up, a 27-point win for Gautier. Dowdell said, “No, we don’t look over anybody. The biggest game is the next game, so we’re looking at them. We’ve got to go out there and dominate on offense, defense and get the win so that we can go to south state and the state championship.”
Irving said, “Definitely trying to make history and keep on going. It’s hard to beat a good team twice and Vancleave has a good ball club, but I feel like those Gators – especially in the Swamp Friday night – if we get this place rocking, it’s going to be a fun night.”
Both games start at 7 p.m. tomorrow.
Another huge game in the 6A ranks as the Ocean Springs Greyhounds get their shot at revenge, hosting Oak Grove in the second round for the second year in a row, having lost to the Warriors 28-21 last year.
With a win, OS would become just the second Coast team all-time from Class 6A to go to South State, joining the 2009 Greyhounds in the inaugural 6A season.
We’ve gone over 5A, but what about 4A third round, Stone hosting this deep into the playoffs for the first time in 31 years as Poplarville looks to make it seven straight in South State.
Highlights of all four games tomorrow on the News 25 Friday Night Showcase.