By Curtis Rockwell, Sports Editor
The Picayune Item
It has been a historical season that was capped by a history-making night this past week for a trio of local football teams.
For the first time since a state-wide playoff system was implemented in Mississippi over 30 years ago, all three prep football teams in Pearl River County have qualified for the playoffs in the same season.
And they did so in record-breaking fashion Friday night when Picayune, Pearl River Central and Poplarville combined for 207 points in three wins. The point total set record for most combined points by the teams on a single night, as the Maroon Tide beat Long Beach 84-19, the Blue Devils beat Gautier 69-0 and Poplarville beat Vancleave 54-35.
Poplarville begins the Class 4A South State playoffs this week on the road at Quitman, while Picayune and PRC, which have both already qualified for the Class 5A South State playoffs, finish up regular season play hosting West Harrison and Pascagoula, respectively.
The Maroon Tide is the Region 4-5A champion and will host a home playoff game one week from Friday. The winner of the PRC-Pascagoula game will get a home playoff game as well.
Also, in the USA Today Super 25 Poll, Picayune moved up two spots to 22nd this week after making its debut in the poll at 24 last week.
The Maroon Tide remained the overall number one team in all three primary prep football polls in the state of Mississippi this week as well, holding down the top spot in the Associated Press Poll, the Jackson Clarion-Ledger Super 10 and the Mississippi Public Broadcasting Top 25 Poll.
Also, Picayune and PRC are the top two teams in the AP Class 5A Poll, as the Blue Devils moved up to second this week for their highest ranking of the season.