Pearl (11-0) at Brandon (7-4)
Its Eat Dirt time when the Pirates make the short trip over Brandon to face the Bulldogs for the Region 3-6A championship. The headline of this game will be Brandon’s passing attack against Pearl defense that gives up just 7.8 points per game that is led by Willie Brown and Tylan Knight. The Bulldog passing attack is led by Will Rogers, Jonathan Mingo, Matt Stowers, Reed Tyler and Bo Whatley. Jake Smithhart, Johnquarise Patterson and Dylan Kelly led the offense for Pearl. Pirates get it done on road.
Pick: Pearl 28-21
Petal (6-4) at Terry (7-4), Thursday
Panthers come up to face the Bulldogs in a do-or-die Region 3-6A matchup. The winner of this game will get in the Class 6A playoffs, while the loser is out. Petal is led by a potent passing attack led by Jordan Wilson, Natorain Watts, Nataurean Watts, Marquiese Bridges and Trent Williams. Nataurean Watts has also made a big play making role at running game. Terry is led by a potent rushing attack that is averaging 247.5 yards per game led by Tyler McDaniel (1,124 yards, 11 touchdowns). Tyrek Pegues has stepped up huge for the Bulldogs at quarterback. Panthers advance to playoffs.
Pick: Petal 31-21
Brookhaven (9-1) at West Jones (8-2)
The Panthers make trip along Highway 84 to Soso to face the Mustangs for the Region 3-5A championship. Regardless of the outcome both teams will host a first round Class 5A playoff game next week. Both teams like to run the ball. Brookhaven is averaging 264.3 yards per game led by two 1,000-yard running backs in Damerrell Leggett and Jaquarius Edwards. West Jones is averaging 142.9 yards per game led by Austin Land. The Mustang defense only allows 14.7 points per game. Ole Brook in a close one.
Pick: Brookhaven 21-17
Shannon (7-4) at Louisville (9-2)
Red Raiders head down to Louisville to face the Wildcats in the first round of the Class 4A playoffs. It’ll be a tale of two different offenses. Louisville is led by a rushing attack that averages 206.3 yards per game led by Deontae Yarbrough, Kenneth Knowles and Kevon Jackson. The Wildcat defense only gives up 11.7 points per game. Shannon is led by an offense attack that averages 215.9 yards per game passing led by Jordan Gilleylen, Augusta Cox and Erick Rogers. Thailon Whitfield has rushed for 842 yards with 16 touchdowns to lead the ground game for Shannon. Louisville defense is the difference.
Pick: Louisville 23-16
South Pontotoc (8-3) at Water Valley (7-4)
Vikings head over to Water Valley to face the Blue Devils in the first round of the Class 3A playoffs. If there is one road team that could a team problems it is South Pontotoc. The Vikings are averaging 232.5 yards per game rushing led by Eddie Ivy and Troy Bone. Water Valley is very balanced offensively averaging 172 yards per game passing and 170 yards per game rushing led by quarterback Ty Varner, running backs Trenderrious Brock and Kenterrious Rucker along with receivers Quaterrious Tolbert, Martavius Rockett and Jayvon Morgan. Blue Devil offense just too much.
Pick: Water Valley 34-24
Eupora (7-3) at Philadelphia (10-1)
Eagles head down to Philadelphia to face the Tornadoes in the first round of the Class 2A playoffs. Philadelphia is led by a fierce running game that averages 271.9 yards led by Cortney Smith (1,570 yards, 22 touchdowns) along with Malik Hickman and Deiondre Fox. Eupora is as balanced as can be offensively averaging 169 yards per game rushing and passing led by Tanner Knight, Al Dumas, Edwin Herard and Preston Perkins. Tornadoe defense is stingy and ends up being the difference.
Pick: Philadelphia 26-19
Lake (8-2) at Calhoun City (8-2)
Hornets head up to Calhoun City to face the defending Class 2A state champion Wildcats in the first round of the 2A playoffs. Both teams lean on heavy running games, so this one could come down to last possession. Lake is averaging 193 yards per game on the ground led by Mark Qualls and Ethan Gray. The Hornets defense only allows 15.7 points per game. Calhoun City averages 334 yards per game rushing led by Treshon Cooper and Jojo Gray, each have 11 rushing touchdowns a piece. Wildcats in a close one at home.
Pick: Calhoun City 21-20
Noxapater (8-2) at Nanih Waiya (11-0), Thursday
Tigers make the short over to Nanih Waiya to face the Warriors for the Region 3-1A championship. If Noxapater loses they could drop to the 3 seed depending on the outcome of the French Camp-Leake County game Friday. Nanih Waiya’s running game has been virtually unstoppable. The Warriors are averaging 294 yards per game led by the tandem of Taemaus Glass (1,094 yards, 19 touchdowns) and Chris Smith (786 yards, 17 touchdowns). Noxapater is also lead by the running game that averages 199 yards per game led by Joshua McClendon and Raheem Hathorn. The Warrior ground game just too much.
Pick: Nanih Waiya 35-21
Heritage Academy (9-2) at Adams Christian (10-1)
Patriots make the long trip from Columbus down to Natchez to face the Rebels in the second round of the MAIS Class AAA playoffs. Adams Christian’s offense is averaging 37 points per game and is led by Jacob McDaniel, Dykevis Ford, Josh Day and Will Rushing. ACCS is currently on a 8-game winning streak and the Rebel defense only allows 13.7 points per game. Heritage is led by do-it-all running back Dontae Gray and receivers Dalton Alexander, Moak Griffin and Eli Acker. Rebel offense took explosive.
Pick: Adams Christian 37-27
Greenville St. Joseph (8-2) at Manchester Academy (9-2)
Two weeks ago, Greenville St. Joe lost to Manchester Academy in overtime and now the Irish will head back to Yazoo City to face the Mavericks in the second round of the MAIS Class AA playoffs. Greenville St. Joe is led by quarterback and Navy commit Brice Johnson, who has passed for 2,079 yards with 31 touchdowns and has rushed for 601 yards with 11 touchdowns. Jonathan Jordan and Dillon Johnson lead the rushing attack for Irish. Mavericks are led by a rushing that averages 248 yards per game that is led by Will Fouche (1,124 yards, 13 touchdowns) along with Warner Griffin and Blayke Dendy. Irish get payback.
Pick: Greenville St. Joe 34-31