Purvis escapes Florence
Purvis, a No. 1 seed in the Class 4A playoffs, was almost cleaning out its lockers last week. Florence tested the Tornadoes, but fortunately for them, a stout defense paved the way to victory. Purvis’ offense struggled for the second week in a row, after putting up only 21 on Forrest County AHS and just 14 against a woeful Florence defense. The team’s second-round playoff matchup against Vancleave will be a big test for the Tornadoes and playing on the road doesn’t help matters.
Collins offense on another level
The Collins defense has given up some points in 2015, but that’s OK when your offense averages 40 points a game. Collins hung 66 on Philadelphia in the Tigers’ first-round playoff game. It marks the third time Collins has reached the 60-point mark this season. Quarterback Detric Hawthorn only needs 23 yards to surpass the 3,000-yard mark, and he’s got 32 touchdown passes to just five interceptions. If the Tigers keep putting up numbers like they have been, expect them to make a deep run in the Class 3A playoffs.
PCS notches first playoff win
The Bobcats are riding high after not only hosting their first playoff game in the school’s history, but also getting a win, their second over Jackson Academy in 2015. Isaiah Woullard was unbelievable once again and finished with 373 yards and four touchdowns. PCS gets another rematch in the MAIS semifinals against another Jackson team. Jackson Prep beat PCS earlier this season, 38-10, but PCS has improved since then. If Woullard can get going early, the Bobcats can make some more history Friday.
The Tigers snuck into the playoffs after beating Stone last week, 28-7. But now Hattiesburg has to travel to Laurel for the second time in 2015 and face a Laurel team that has hit its stride. It took a 28-point fourth quarter for Hattiesburg to take the Little Brown Jug on Aug. 28. The crowd intensity will be at a fever pitch, and Hattiesburg coach Tony Vance and company will have their work cut out for them. Expect another classic, down-to-the-wire matchup between these longtime rivals.
Oak Grove has scary first round game
Oak Grove finished as the second seed in Region 3-6A, and the Warriors face an underrated Ocean Springs team in the first round Friday. The Greyhounds have beaten some very good teams in 2015, including a 24-0 thumping of D’Iberville. D’Iberville beat Oak Grove, 44-21, earlier this season. Ocean Springs has also only given up 187 points all year, the seventh-fewest in 6A. However, the Warriors do get the Greyhounds at home, and Ocean Springs is also coming off back-to-back losses to Gulfport and Harrison Central. If the Warriors get consistency on offense early, they will advance.
Panthers have sneaky matchup, too
Oak Grove isn’t the only Region 3-6A team that has a tricky first-round playoff matchup. Petal travels to Harrison Central for one of the more interesting 6A playoff games. The Red Rebels sit at 6-6, but are still the No. 2 seed out of Region 4-6A. While Ocean Springs limped into the playoffs, Harrison Central comes in riding a three-game winning streak. Petal is no slouch either, as the Panthers are on a four-game winning streak. But just like the Oak Grove-Ocean Springs game, it will come down to home field and the Panthers will have to pack their bags this week. The wear and tear from the long travel could affect the Panthers. Coach Marcus Boyles and Petal will have their work cut out for them.
Contact sports writer Jacob Kemp at (601) 584-3137. Also, follow @jacob_kemp2 on Twitter.