High School Notebook: Another week, another whole bunch of upsets

It seems this year there is a theme that every week there is a upset.

This past Friday night was no different, but there were quite a few then in previous and most of them involved teams from the Jackson area.

Northwest Rankin, who fell out of the Mississippi Gridiron Top 10 poll two weeks ago, completely dominated then No. 4-ranked Starkville 28-7.

Quarterback Braden Smith rushed for 160 yards with two touchdowns and passed for 109 yards and a touchdown.

The Northwest Rankin defense held Starkville, the defending 6A state champs, to just 176 yards of total offense.

“I don’t want to leave anybody out, but this is was a team win for us. Everyone contributed and this is a big ,” said second-year NW Rankin coach Toby Collums after the game. “We played a complete game on both sides of the ball. To hold a team like Starkville to just one touchdown speaks volume of how well our defense played well tonight.”

Speaking of complete games, Pearl went over to Ray Stadium and spoiled then No. 3-ranked Meridian’s homecoming by whipping the Wildcats 34-13.

Junior running back Johnny Winston had 158 yards in 27 rushes with two touchdowns. Javarious Pearce had a 20-yard touchdown reception to go along with seven tackles and two sacks. Defensive end Gunner Williams had 14 tackles, three sacks and a pass deflection.

“Our kids played really hard and kept the faith,” said Pearl coach John Perry. “They believe that we had a chance to win and played a lot of courage. Proud of our kids.”

Germantown used four Conner McKay field goals and scored on a rushing touchdown held Grenada to just 73 yards passing to defeat the Chargers 23-20 to improve to 2-0 in region play and now has control of its destiny in Region 2-5A.

Velma Jackson went on the road and knocked off previously unbeaten Cleveland East Side 21-18 in its Region 3-3A opener.

On the coast, D’Iberville used a potent rushing attack to snap a 3-game losing streak Ocean Springs by thumping the Greyhounds 45-22 on the road. The Warriors totaled 317 yards rushing on the night.

Undefeated Teams

With all of these upsets there are now a total of 20 teams that remain undefeated.

MHSAA has 11 teams that have yet to be beaten. Class 6A has three teams undefeated in Clinton, Tupelo and Warren Central, who are all 6-0; Picayune (6-0) is the lone undefeated team in Class 5A; Class 4A has Pontotoc and West Lauderdale, who are both 7-0; Hazlehurst (6-0), North Panola (7-0), and Raleigh (7-0) are the unbeaten teams in Class 3A; Class 2A has no undefeated teams and Hollandale Simmons (6-0) is the only undefeated team in Class 1A.

MAIS has nine teams that are undefeated. Jackson Prep and Presbyterian Christian are both 7-0 in the MAIS’ highest classification, Class AAAA, Division I; Indianola Academy (7-0) is lone unbeaten team in Class AAA; Class AA has three teams undefeated in Canton Academy, Prentiss Christian and Tri-County Academy. All of those teams are 7-0; Class A (8-Man) has three unbeaten teams in Kemper Academy (6-0), Marvell (Ark.) (5-0) and Tallulah (La.) (5-0).


In the last week of game that will feature MHSAA and MAIS schools going head to head, MAIS schools went 2-0. Heritage Academy defeated West Lowndes 30-26 and Starkville Academy handled French Camp 28-9.

MAIS schools went 14-12 against MHSAA schools this year.