MHSAA Playoff Games to Watch

Tupelo quarterback Daniel Bristow.




Warren Central (10-2) at Madison Central (8-5)

Madison Central pulled off the biggest upset of the season last week over South Panola, while Warren Central is coming off their blowout win over Tupelo. Vikings won in the Jungle back on Oct. 9 by the score of 16-6 over the Jaguars. Warren Central is led by QB Jesse Lewis, while Madison Central is led by QB Jack Walker. Jags get yet another pay back.

Pick: Madison Central 21-20


Starkville (11-1) at Clinton (8-4)

Yellow Jackets and Arrows both are coming off track meet wins in the first round last week. Starkville won 46-24 over Olive Branch, while Clinton held off Columbus 56-42. These two teams met just two weeks ago that saw the Yellow Jackets blowing out the Cam Akers-less Arrows 45-7. Cam Akers will play this go around and will make a huge difference against a stiff Starkville defense. Jacket defense is too tough.

Pick: Starkville 30-20


Brandon (11-2) at Petal (8-4)

The Bulldogs are one of nine No. 1 seeded teams remaining that has to travel to a lower seeded team in the playoffs. Brandon defeated Petal 35-14 back on Oct. 9. Bulldogs defense forced four turnovers in 1st round win over D’Iberville, while the Petal passing attack at its way against Harrison Central behind QB Samuel Hopper. Dogs take care of business on the road.

Pick: Brandon 28-21


Oak Grove (10-2) at Meridian (7-5)

Wildcats and Warriors had a heckuva game back on Oct. 9 that saw Oak Grove winning on a last second field goal 24-21. Wildcats have been rolling behind QB Tray Warren and coming off a blowout win over Gulfport in the first round. Oak Grove is led by Cal commit Jordan Duncan. Wildcats get revenge.

Pick: Meridian 24-17



Germantown (9-3) at Oxford (10-2)

This one has classic written all over it when the Mavericks will make the trip up to Oxford to face the Chargers in the second round. Germantown is led by its “No Fly Zone” secondary led by Nigel Knott, while Oxford is led by air attack behind quarterback Jack Abraham and wide receiver DK Metcalf. Oxford’s offense just too deadly.

Pick: Oxford 35-28


West Point (10-2) at Grenada (10-2)

It will be a battle of heavy rushing attacks when Green Wave meets the Chargers in the second round. Grenada is averaging 226.4 yards per game rushing behind Deon House and Devarius Bridges, while West Point is averaging 323.7 yards on the ground behind Chris Calvert and Marcus Murphy. The Green Wave defense makes one key stop.

Pick: West Point 19-17


Pascagoula (9-3) at Laurel (9-3)

A battle of 9-3 teams when the Panthers make the hour and a half trip up to Laurel ta face the defending 5A state champs. Laurel is led by the duo of QB Keon Howard and TE Octavius Cooley. ‘Goula is led by QB Granlund Trojusen. Laurel’s offense is just too dangerous.

Pick: Laurel 34-24


Wayne County (9-3) at Pearl River Central (11-1)

This one could be tricky. PRC will have its run heavy wing-T offense against a stout Wayne County defense led by Benito Jones. Blue Devils are on a 9-game winning streak and are averaging 338.2 yards rushing. War Eagle offense is led by QB Reggie Stewart. Wayne County is aiming for a rematch with Laurel.

Pick: Wayne County 31-30



Noxubee County (9-4) at Houston (9-4)

Hilltoppers were struggling down the stretch heading into the playoffs and now they have rolled off two road playoff wins as they into the third round against the Tigers. Noxubee beat Houston 35-10 in the regular season finale. Safety Denver McQuary snapped Steve McNair’s interception record last week. Toppers are going to need to catch every break they can against Jeffrey Simmons and the defending 4A state champs.

Pick: Noxubee County 31-20


Kosciusko (10-2) at Greenwood (11-1)

Quietly the Bulldogs are having a fantastic season. Defensive end Marquiss Spence has recorded 101 tackles and 16 sacks to lead the Greenwood defense that is only giving up just 10.4 points per game. QB Damarius Ray has tossed for 1,513 yards with 19 touchdowns. Kosciusko is led by dual-threat QB Josh Dodd. This one could be a classic, going with the home team.

Pick: Greenwood 13-12


St. Stanislaus (9-3) at Moss Point (7-5)

Moss Point barely made the playoffs as a No. 4 seed and now the Tigers have their way into the third round. Travis Marion leads the run heavy triple option offense for Moss Point. The pass happy St. Stanislaus offense is led by Myles Brennan. Defending 4A South State champs inch closer to another 4A state title berth.

Pick: St. Stanislaus 35-21


Lawrence County (11-1) at Vancleave (6-7)

Like Moss Point, Vancleave had to win its last regular season game in order to make the playoffs and now the Bulldogs are in the third round. Dylon Mallette and Parker Bourque anchor the offense that is averaging 181.2 yards rushing. Charl’Tez Nunnery leads the offense for Lawrence County. Cougars end the Bulldogs magical run.

Pick: Lawrence County 27-20



Aberdeen (10-3) at Cleveland East Side (9-4)

Aberdeen has had no trouble in their first two playoff games, while East Side won in dramatic fashion last week over Kossuth. Bulldogs are led by wide receiver and Memphis commit Jerrick Orr, while East Side leans on a rushing attack that is averaging 223 yards a game and is led by Kaelan Hall. Pass happy Bulldogs get it done on the road.

Pick: Aberdeen 23-20


Yazoo County (9-3) at Charleston (11-2)

Panthers and Tigers will have a battle of rushing attacks when they meet in the third round. Yazoo County QB Kenny Gainwell has rushed for over 1,000 yards and has passed for 1,000 yards to anchor the Panther offense. Ahmad Alexander leads the heavy run attack for Charleston. Charleston inches closer to playing for the Class 3A state title for the fourth time in five years.

Pick: Charleston 23-19


Kemper County (10-2) at Collins (12-1)

This one has a classic written all over it. The Wildcats and Tigers matchup very well at pretty much every position. Kemper County is led by QB Eric Clark Jr. and WR Otis Cross, Jr. Detric Hawthorn leads the pass happy offense for the defending 3A state champs. Collins at home in a close one.

Pick: Collins 31-30


Hazlehurst (12-0) at West Marion (12-1)

Two heavy rushing attacks will meet in Foxworth when the Indians will face the Trojans in the third round. Josh Miller anchors the offense for West Marion that is averaging 152.3 yards on the ground. Damariun Wilson anchors the rushing for Hazlehurst that is averaging 457 yards on the ground. Hazlehurst remains undefeated.

Pick: Hazlehurst 24-21



Calhoun City (10-3) at Baldwyn (11-2)

Wildcats and Bearcats will meet in what could be a dandy of a game. It will be a battle of who can stop either teams best athlete. Calhoun City is led by Brieton Sykes, while Baldwyn is led by Duke Upshaw. Wildcats inch closer to third straight 2A state title appearance.

Pick: Calhoun City 23-16


East Webster (12-1) at Greenville O’Bannon (12-1)

The Green Wave are the least talked about 12-1 team in Mississippi. O’Bannon is averaging 248.1 yards per game on the ground and are led by Jimmy Cork (1,125 yards, 11 touchdowns). But it is going to take a lot to slow down the Wolverine offense led by QB Jack Wilson. Wolverines move on.

Pick: East Webster 24-18


Bay Springs (11-2) at Lake (11-1)

Two very balanced offenses will meet. Bulldogs are averaging 277 yards on the ground and 129.3 yards through the air led by QB Caderius Lee (16 passing touchdowns, 12 rushing touchdowns). Hornets are led by Deyton Lingle (1,573 yards passing, 17 touchdowns). Hornets are tough to beat at home so going with the home team in a high scoring affair.

Pick: Lake 42-40


Bassfield (11-2) at Taylorsville (7-5)

The run heavy Yellowjackets will make the short trip up to Taylorsville to face the pass happy Tartars. Taylorsville got by Puckett last week in overtime, but looks to continue the momentum into Friday night behind promising wide receiver Devin Ducksworth. The three-time defending 2A state champ Jackets are led by Ron Thompson. Bassfield’s running game is just too hard to stop.

Pick: Bassfield 31-20



Shaw (8-4) at Smithville (12-1)

Two heavy running teams will meet when the Hawks make the cross state trip to face the Seminoles. Shaw is averaging 164.3 yards per game on the ground behind Jermarquis Stimmage, while Smithville is averaging 230.6 yards and is led by Dee Moore. Smithville’s offense is more balanced.

Pick: Smithville 29-22


West Lowndes (9-4) at Hollandale Simmons (9-0)

The Panthers will make the two hour trip across Highway 82 to the Delta to face the Blue Devils. Mississippi State commit Nero Nelson leads a potent rushing attack for Simmons, while West Lowndes is led by Tedarrious Barr. Blue Devils continue to stay red hot.

Pick: Simmons 30-20


Lumberton (7-5) at Nanih Waiya (9-4)

The Panthers will bring its heavy rushing attack that is averaging right at 300 yards a game up to Louisville to face the Warriors. Daylon Burks (2,395 yards, 30 touchdowns) anchors the rushing attack for Lumberton. Nanih Waiya is averaging 230.4 yards on the ground and is led by Taemaus Glass. The Warrior defense has been playing lights out down the stretch and stays that way.

Pick: Nanih Waiya 20-10


Resurrection (11-0) at Stringer (7-6)

Stringer was the lone road team to win last week in 1A, but can it still have momentum when the undefeated Eagles come to town? We shall see. Resurrection is averaging 268.7 yards a game rushing led by Dylan Jolly. Red Devils are led by running back Qwayvious Gandy (1,072 yards, 10 touchdowns). Eagles dream season continues.

Pick: Resurrection 28-17