Week six of high school football season is here, so here are Zac Chamblee’s predictions for six of the biggest games in the Hattiesburg area.
Hattiesburg (4-0) at Gautier (3-1)
Gautier looks much improved having already matched their win total from last season, but the Gators’ toughest challenge of 2018 comes this Friday with Hattiesburg coming to town. The Tiger offense is averaging 44 points a game, and their defense is playing lights out right now. Both units also figure to get better, and that should have all of 5A worried. Hattiesburg should roll and open district play with another big win.
Hattiesburg 41, Gautier 13
George County (1-4) at Oak Grove (3-1)
I have to imagine it’s been a long two weeks for Oak Grove. The Warriors suffered their first defeat of the season in blowout fashion to Hattiesburg on Sept. 7 and then had a bye this past week to think about it and correct some things. The competition will dip significantly this Friday against George County. The Rebels have struggled mightily on offense to this point and simply do not have the firepower to keep up with John Rhys Plumlee and the Warriors.
Oak Grove 38, George County 17
Petal (1-3) at Pearl (2-2)
Petal has got a chance to pick up another statement win this Friday against the defending Class 6A champ. The Panthers shut out Laurel for win No. 1 two weeks ago and were off this past week on a bye. Keep in mind, there may not be a more dangerous team coming off a bye than Marcus Boyles’ Petal Panthers. They’ll face a Pearl team that’s lost two straight and clearly not the powerhouse they were last season. Call me crazy, but I say Petal pulls this one out.
Petal 21, Pearl 20
Lawrence County (4-1) at Collins (3-1)
This will be a good test for Collins. Per Brandon Shields, Lawrence County is averaging over 300 yards per game on the ground. At 4-1, the Cougars have also already surpassed their win total from last year. Now they go for win No. 5 against this potent offense and underrated defense for the Tigers. It should go back-and-forth, but in the end, Collins just has too many weapons.
Collins 27, Lawrence County 24
North Forrest (2-3) at Heidelberg (2-3)
Things are trending upward for North Forrest. It’s clear that Leon Jones is getting more and more comfortable at quarterback, and with him leading the way, the Eagles have scored 40-plus in two straight games—all wins for North Forrest. Their week six opponent, Heidelberg, has scored just 14 total points in their last three games—all losses. The Oilers played a brutal schedule in that stretch, and it won’t get a whole lot easier week.
North Forrest 31, Heidelberg 23
Sumrall (5-0) at Pass Christian (1-3)
Five weeks into the season, Sumrall remains unbeaten and one of the great stories in our area. I got a chance to see the Bobcats in action for the first time last week against Richton, and I walked away impressed. Penalties, or the referees, hurt Sumrall in that one, but Dannis Jackson and Ty’Rek Preston lessened the damage with huge rushing performances. Expect more of the same from those two this week against a Pass Christian team that’s lost three straight.
Sumrall 34, Pass Christian 10
Note: Zac will be covering Friday’s Purvis-Seminary game, so he has absolved himself from making a pick in that matchup.