Five Takeaways from Week 4

Tupelo linebacker Jett Johnson. Keith Warren/MHSAA

East Central turning heads

Coming into the season East Central coach Seth Smith knew this year’s squad could be something special.

Well, so far so good.

The Hornets made a big statement Friday night with a 31-7 blowout win over Jefferson Davis County to remain undefeated at 3-0.

The Jaguars (3-1) were coming off a big road win at Wayne County in Week 3.

The biggest difference in this one was turnovers. East Central’s defense would force four Jefferson County Davis turnovers and turned three of those turnovers into points (two touchdowns and a field goal).

Hornet running back Tony Brown had 158 yards on 24 carries with a touchdown, while quarterback Rylee Brown went 6-of-8 passing for 93 yards with a touchdown. All six of his passes were completed to tight end and Mississippi State commit Brad Cumbest.

East Central will have another test this week when the Hornets hosts yet another contender in Class 3A in Hazlehurst (3-1).

 

McGlaun, Williams duo hard to stop

Coming into Friday Tupelo head coach Trent Hammond didn’t his team had played a complete game.

If the second half of the Golden Wave’s 28-13 win over Brandon was any indicator then look out.

The duo of junior quarterback Stephon McGlaun and junior running back Jaquerrious Williams could not be stopped.

“We hang our hat on those guys and they offensive line,” said Tupelo coach Trent Hammond. “We had to go be us and be who we are. Control the football game.”

Williams would lead the rushing attack with 209 yards on 30 carries with three touchdowns, while McGlaun had 118 yards on 19 carries with a touchdown. His 3-yard touchdown run has time expired in the second quarter gave Tupelo the lead at 14-13 at half.

“We had to make a statement right before halftime and we did. We had to get the moment,” McGlaun said after the game.

Tupelo’s defense did its past holding Brandon to 206 yards of total offense, including just 7 yards rushing and 103 yards total in the second half.

“In the second half we knew they were coming out throwing, do our defensive backs did a good job of preventing big plays,” said Tupelo linebacker and MSU commit Jett Johnson.

Tupelo (3-0) is off this week before starting Region 1-6A play at Hernando Sept. 22.

 

Hattiesburg with another statement win

Oak Grove has been the thorn in Hattiesburg’s side for the last few years.

Well the Tigers snapped a four-game losing streak to the Warriors with an epic 42-28 win on Friday night at D.I. Patrick Stadium.

It was Hattiesburg’s first win over Oak Grove under Tony Vance and first win since 2012.

Quarterback Jarod Conner led the way offensively for Hattiesburg going 11 of 20 passing with 222 yards and also rushed 17 times for 110 yards with four touchdowns.

Receiver Darius Ruffin was Hattiesburg’s top target catching six passes for 142 yards.

One of the biggest notes from this game is Oak Grove quarterback John Rhys Plumlee. Plumlee did not play due to a hand injury and could be out as long as four weeks.

 

Scott Central and Newton sleepers in 2A North

Through the first four weeks of the season no teams in 2A have on the rise than Scott Central and Newton.

And it just so happens both the Rebels and Tigers are in the same division.

Newton (4-0) has been on a tear behind the twins at receiver in Zachary and Zackariah Johnson. Quarterback Tre Hillie has led the way offensively for the Tigers with 1,076 yards passing with 13 touchdowns and has also rushed for three more touchdowns.

Newton has wins over Madison St. Joe (the team who beat them in the first round of 2A playoffs last year), Eupora, Lamar School and Choctaw Central.

“Going into this year we knew we had some tests and we had some unknowns, but so far so good,” said Newton coach Ryan Smith. “The constant thing for us is putting this kids in situations that they aren’t familiar with.”

Newton travels to Magee (2-2) on Friday.

For Scott Central (4-0) it has been about defense and the running game.

The Rebels are averaging 289.3 yards that is led by T.J. Wash (team best 465 yards, 7 touchdowns), Ken Butler, Vontae McDonald and Navonteque Strong.

Scott Central’s defense has only allowed 41 points total through the first four games (10.3 points game). The Rebel defense has scored a defensive touchdown in all four games, including three interceptions return for touchdowns in last weeks 55-27 win over Florence.

“I’ve been doing this a long time and I’ve never seen a turn around like this,” said Scott Central coach Jim Nowell. “We went 6-6 last year and got beat in first round of playoffs and that did nothing but fuel these kids and they’ve made big play after big play.”

The Rebels hosts SE Lauderdale (3-1) on Friday.

 

MHSAA vs. MAIS

The MAIS once again flexed its muscle winning two of three matchups between MHSAA schools on Friday night.

Starkville Academy knocked off previously unbeaten East Webster 34-24 and Jackson Academy shutout NE Lauderdale 27-0 in a battle of undefeated teams. MAIS is now 13-7 against MHSAA schools this year.

The only MHSAA win was Riverside’s 40-0 win over Greenville Christian.

Only one matchup between MHSAA and MAIS schools this week when Madison St. Joe travels to Flowood to face Jackson Prep.