Following a great opening weekend to the high school football season, here are my five biggest takeaways.
For the Golden Wave it literally was a tale of two halves.
Tupelo was down 17-0 to Meridian at the half and had committed two turnovers on its first three drives. But things quickly changed as the Wave outscored the Wildcats 34-7 in the second half to come away with a 34-24 victory at Ray Stadium Friday night.
Golden Wave quarterback Stephon McGlaun would go 20 of 28 passing for 297 yards with a 26-yard touchdown pass to Jaquerrious Williams in the third quarter. McGlaun also had 58 yards rushing on 10 carries with two touchdowns from 26 yards and six yards out.
The 26-yarder came on the second drive of the third quarter to begin the comeback.
Williams would also rush for 122 yards on 21 carries with two touchdowns. His first score came from 17 yards out to give Tupelo the lead at 27-24 with five minutes remaining in the game. His second score came from 50 yards to seal it.
No. 3 Tupelo (1-0) returns home this week to take on Corinth (1-0).
Starkville Makes An Early Statement
The Yellowjackets made a huge case for why they are the top-ranked team as they dismantled Noxubee County 30-6 in their season opener on Friday night.
Starkville’s defense was the difference in this one, only allowing the Tigers 108 yards of total offense with 28 rushing. Noxubee only had nine first downs and they sacked Tiger quarterback Khristopher White three times.
Quarterback Luke Altmyer led the Yellowjacket offense by passing for 124 yards with two touchdowns. His first score went to Rufus Harvey from 18 yards out and the second went to Khiry Gee from 26 yards out.
Running back Rodrigues Clark had 109 yards rushing that included a 40-yard touchdown in the third quarter.
The No. 1 Jackets (1-0) travel to Oxford (0-0) in the sixth annual Little Egg Bowl.
Wayne County Wins Defensive Struggle
The Shelton Gandy era at Wayne County began with a nerve-wracking thriller.
The War Eagles held off rival West Jones 10-6 in a defensive slugfest on Friday night to give Gandy, a Wayne County native, his first ever win as a head coach.
Wayne County held the Mustangs to just 124 yards of total offense (including 41 yards rushing) and just four first downs. West Jones was 0-for-13 on third down conversions.
West Jones’ defense played stellar by holding Wayne County to 105 yards of total offense and just nine first downs.
Each team was settling for field goals through the first three quarters.
Trailing 6-3, War Eagle quarterback ZhaKerreun Wesley scored on a 3-yard run for the only touchdown of the game with 7:27 left in the fourth quarter to give Wayne County a 10-6 lead.
West Jones had a chance to win with the ball at the Wayne County 15-yard line with less than a minute to go but two straight incomplete passes sealed it for the War Eagles.
Wayne County (1-0) hosts Oak Grove (1-0) on Friday.
Several Streaks Snapped
For Newton County and new head coach Bobby Bass, it is all about taking steps in the right direction.
The Cougars took a step forward with a 21-13 win over Leake Central on Friday night to snap a 12-game losing streak.
It was Newton County’s first win since October 14, 2016, against Northeast Lauderdale.
Miguel Evans had 159 yards on 27 carries with a touchdown to lead the Cougars offensively.
Newton County (1-0) travels to Neshoba Central (1-0) on Friday.
There were other losing streaks snapped on Friday night.
- Delta Streets Academy shut out North Sunflower 48-0 to see its 19-game losing streak go away.
- Amanda Elzy held off rival Leland 18-12 to snap its 18-game losing streak.
- Salem saw its 16-game losing streak come to a close with a 38-14 win over Enterprise Lincoln.
- Caledonia whipped West Lowndes 40-12 to begin the Michael Kelly era and snapped the Confederates 11-game losing streak.
Mother Nature Strikes Again
If there was a true winner of the opening week of high school football, it was Mother Nature.
There were 10 games that were cancelled due to weather and will not be made up.
The games that were cancelled were: Byers at Hickory Flat; Brookhaven Academy at Cathedral; Central Hinds at Adams Christian; Clarksdale at Vicksburg; McComb at Port Gibson; Oxford vs. Warren Central; Raymond at Terry; Ruleville at Philadelphia; Wesson at Crystal Springs and Wilkinson County at Natchez.