Down goes No. 1
Northwest Rankin senior Jarrian Jones knew his team needed a big play in the second half and he came through.
Jones would haul in a 70-yard touchdown pass from Jamari Jones with 3:13 left in the game as No. 7 Northwest Rankin knocked off top-ranked Starkville 27-20 on Friday night.
“We needed it and it was a big one,” Jones said after the game. “Starkville is a great team and they deserve credit, but we made plays when we needed to make them.”
“They were walking up to our best player and we took a chance to go over the top. Jarrian made a great move and the corner fell down and it ended up being a good throw and catch,” Northwest Rankin coach Toby Collums added.
The Cougars (5-1) are in a great position for the playoffs with a 2-0 start in rugged Region 2-6A with wins over Warren Central and Starkville. Northwest Rankin has back-to-back road games at Provine on Friday and then at No. 8 Clinton on October 11.
“A 2-0 start is huge in this region and considering the two teams we’ve played to start region play,” Collums said. “It’s extremely special, but we can’t be complacent and have to continue to get better.”
Starkville was cruising along up 13-3 early in the second quarter, but the Cougars would get a 15-yard touchdown pass from Jamari Jones to Marquis Tenner and then Gavin Gaudin would hit a 42-yard field goal with 4:52 left before halftime to tie the game at 13.
Starkville couldn’t get going on offense, especially in the second half. The Cougars would recover a fumble on the Yellowjackets first drive of the third quarter.
“I thought we did a good job of tackling in the second half. They were moving the ball at will on us in the first half for the most part and defensive staff made some adjustments and paid off,” Collums said. “We bent but didn’t break and I’m so proud of the kids.”
P.J. Lindsey would score on an 8-yard touchdown run to give the Cougars a 20-13 lead with 6:27 left in the third quarter.
Starkville would tie the game at 20 on 1-yard touchdown run by quarterback Luke Altmyer with 8:10 left in the fourth quarter. Altmyer had 209 yards passing, while running back Rodrigues Clark added 109 yards rushing with a touchdown to lead the Yellowjackets (5-1, 1-1).
Altmyer is a name that Mississippi high school football fans should become accustomed. Only a sophomore, Altmyer is attracting major college interest and looked the part Friday night. The sky is the limit for the young signal-caller.
Sumrall keeps rolling along
It has been a while since Sumrall has had this kind of success in football.
Sumrall is out to a 7-0 start after whipping Region 7-4A rival Purvis 35-7 in their region opener on Friday night.
It was the Bobcats first win over the Tornadoes since 2007.
Running back Tyrek Preston had four total touchdowns to lead the Sumrall offense. He had 17 rushes for 98 yards with three touchdowns and also had a receiving touchdown.
Quarterback Dannis Jackson had 52 yards passing with two touchdowns and rushed for 101 yards on 15 carries.
Sumrall travels to Lawrence County (5-2, 1-0) in a huge region game on Friday.
Oxford gets huge region win
Streaks coming to an end was the theme of Week 7 and Oxford was part of it.
Behind quarterback John Meagher, the Chargers were able to hold off South Panola 35-21 in a huge Region 1-6A matchup at Bobby Holcomb Field.
It was the first time in 27 years that Oxford beaten South Panola.
But things didn’t start off well for the Chargers as the Tigers built a 13-0 lead in the first quarter off a Kanoda Lewis 3-yard touchdown run and a Jaylen Heffner 50-yard interception return for a touchdown.
After the bad start Oxford was able to score on four straight possessions and build a 28-13 lead at halftime.
Meagher would go 18 of 38 passing for 248 yards with four touchdowns. Three of those touchdown passes went to Jeremiah Pegues.
Oxford (5-2, 2-0 Region 1-6A) will continue region play as they travel to DeSoto Central (3-4, 1-1) on Thursday.
Pearl wins in Meridian again
Not a lot of teams can say they’ve beaten Meridian five times in a row. But the Pearl Pirates can and in historic Ray Stadium three of those times on the road.
Pearl would turn three Meridian turnovers into touchdowns as the Pirates rallied past the Wildcats 35-26 on Friday night in a huge Region 3-6A matchup.
Running back Kenyatte Harrell had 23 carries for 161 yards with four touchdowns to lead the Pearl offense.
Jay Ward added a 18-yard touchdown catch to give Pearl a 28-20 lead with nine minutes left in the fourth quarter.
Pearl (4-2, 2-0 Region 3-6A) continues region play as they host Terry (4-2, 1-1) for homecoming on Friday.
Another losing streak ends
Behind a strong rushing attack, Ethel got past Hamilton 26-8 on Friday night in a Region 3-1A contest that saw its 18-game losing streak come an end.
It was the Tigers first win since defeating Montgomery County 46-16 back on October 13, 2016.
Running back Luther Clark had 21 rushes for 148 yards with two touchdowns and ATH Kendal Dotson added 75 yards on 14 carries with two touchdowns to lead the Tigers.
Ethel (1-5, 1-3 Region 3-1A) travels to Vardaman (1-5, 0-3) for a region game on Friday.