Madison Central (7-2) at Northwest Rankin (7-2)
Jaguars make the short drive over to Flowood to face the Cougars in a pivotal Region 2-6A matchup. The winner of this game will be the 2 seed, while the loser will be the 3 seed. Both teams like to run the ball. Madison Central is led by the duo of quarterback Jimmy Holiday, whose tossed for 422 yards with five touchdowns and rushed for 369 yards with six touchdowns, and running back Cam White who has rushed for 798 yards with seven touchdowns. Northwest Rankin is led by Tulane commit Cameron Carroll (1,093 yards, 7 touchdowns) and Dee Baker (588 yards, 8 touchdowns). Jamari Jones has tossed for 933 yards with 10 touchdowns for the Cougars. Jags defense just too much.
Pick: Madison Central 31-24
Tupelo (9-0) at Horn Lake (7-1)
Golden Wave head up to DeSoto County to face the Eagles in a Region 1-6A matchup. If Tupelo wins they’ll claim the Region 1-6A title for the second straight season. Golden Wave are led by the fierce rushing attack that averages 259.3 yards per game led by running back Jaquerrious Williams (1,066 yards, 18 touchdowns) and quarterback Stephon McGlaun (660 yards, 8 touchdowns; 1,303 yards passing and 10 touchdowns). The Golden Wave defense only allows 10.4 points per game. Horn Lake leans heavy on the running game that is averaging 283 yards per game led by running back Tyler Grim (1,179 yards, 16 touchdowns) and quarterback Raydarious Jones (556 yards, 9 touchdowns). Golden Wave claim Region 1-6A title.
Pick: Tupelo 24-14
Shannon (7-3) at Pontotoc (9-1)
Red Raiders will face the Warriors in a Region 2-4A matchup. Pontotoc has already clinched the No. 1 seed and Shannon is the 3 seed in Region 2-4A. Warriors are very balanced offensively averaging 209 yards rushing and 161 yards passing led by quarterback Justin Carter, wide receiver Austin Morphis and running back Immanuel Vance. Shannon has a very potent offense that averages over 200 yards per game both rushing and receiving led by quarterback Jordan Gilleylen, running back Thailon Whitfield along with receivers Erick Rogers and Augusta Cox. Warrior defense just too stout.
Pick: Pontotoc 28-20
Yazoo County (9-0) at Charleston (8-2), Thursday
Panthers head up to Charleston to face the Tigers on Thursday for the Region 3-3A championship. Regardless both teams will host a first round 3A playoff game next week. Yazoo County is led by the rushing attack of Memphis commit Kenny Gainwell (1,083 yards, 22 touchdowns), Devarrio Sanders (541 yards, 7 touchdowns) and Cherokee Edwards (400 yards, 6 touchdowns). As always Charleston is led by a tough running game and defense. Fred Hervey and De’Antre anchor the rushing attack for the Tigers. Charleston defense only allows 13.5 points per game. Gainwell and company just too much.
Pick: Yazoo County 19-12
Port Gibson (7-2) at Hazlehurst (7-2)
Blue Wave make the short trip along Highway 28 over to Hazlehurst to face the Indians for the Region 7-3A championship. Regardless both teams will host a 3A playoff game next week. Hazlehurst leans on a rushing attack that averages 291 yards per game led by Tim Steward, Jahem James, Quemead Stewart and Tyrek Price. Port Gibson also leans on the running game averaging 264 yards per game led by running back Javier Barnes and a two-quarterback system in Jacory Rankin and D’Marious Hicks. Indians get it done at home.
Pick: Hazlehurst 26-18
Philadelphia (9-1) at Scott Central (10-0)
Tornadoes head down Highway 21 to face the Rebels for the Region 4-2A title. Philadelphia is coming off a loss to Lake last week and must win by 5 points or more to claim the division title, if not they’ll be the 3 seed. Both teams like to run the ball. Scott Central is led by a fierce rushing attack averaging 259.6 yards per game led by T.J. Wash (1,080 yards, 19 touchdowns) and Vontae McDonald (307 yards, 8 touchdowns). The Rebel defense only allows 7.3 points per game. Philadelphia averages 282 yards per game on the ground and is led by Cortney Smith, Malik Hickman and Deiondre Fox. Rebels get it done in a slugfest at home.
Pick: Scott Central 19-17
Eupora (7-2) at Calhoun City (7-2)
Eagles head over to Calhoun City to face the Wildcats in a Region 2-2A matchup. The winner of this game will be the 2 seed and host a playoff game next week, while the loser will be the 3 seed and will have to travel. Calhoun City is led by the always potent rushing attack that is averaging 334 yards per game that’s led by Treshon Cooper (908 yards, 10 touchdowns) and quarterback Jojo Gray (500 yards, 9 touchdowns). Eupora is as balanced as it can be offensively averaging 169 yards per game rushing and passing led by Tanner Knight, Edwin Herard, Preston Perkins and Al Dumas. Wildcats tough to beat at home.
Pick: Calhoun City 19-16
Pisgah (7-3) at Madison St. Joe (7-3)
Dragons head over to Madison to face the Bruins for the Region 6-2A championship. Pisgah has to win by 10 points or more to win the region title, if not they could be either 2 or 3 seed based on final result and the Mize-Pelahatchie game. St. Joe brings a pass happy offense that averages 217 yards per game led by Charlie Lott and Reed Collins sharing time at quarterback and top receivers Trey Frierson, Kiland Harrison and Hayden Brice. Pisgah is averaging 352 yards per game rushing led by Don Ragsdale, whose rushed for 2,332 yards and 27 touchdowns. Bruins take region title in a close one.
Pick: Madison St. Joe 24-21
Lumberton (7-2) at Stringer (9-1)
Panthers head up to Stringer to face the Red Devils for the Region 4-1A championship. Stringer is a more run than pass team averaging 220.8 yards per game led by Anthony Thompson (1,295 yards, 18 touchdowns). Quarterback Cayleb Dyess has tossed for 1,375 yards with 19 toychdowns for the Red Devils. Lumberton likes to run the ball as well averaging 221.7 yards per game and uses a plethora of running backs led by Robert Henry (695 yards, 8 touchdowns). Jared Tribett has thrown for 1,293 yards with 11 touchdowns for Panthers. Red Devils at home get it done.
Pick: Stringer 22-21
Parklane Academy (9-1) at Jackson Prep (10-0)
Pioneers head up to Flowood to face the Patriots to determine who’s the top seed heading into the MAIS Class AAAA, Division I playoffs next week. Last year this game was a shootout that saw Jackson Prep winning by 19 points. Prep is led by the duo of quarterback Chance Lovertich (1,788 yards, 25 touchdowns) and do-it-all running back Jerrion Ealy (1,290 yards rushing, 27 touchdowns; 423 yards receiving, 6 touchdowns). Parklane is led by a deadly rushing attack that averages 333.1 yards per game led by Jay Smith, Trent Coleman, Kyrin Bickham and Brandt Watson. Prep’s defense makes the difference this time.
Pick: Jackson Prep 35-27