Week 12 10 Games To Watch
Brandon (9-2) at Pearl (7-3)
Someone is going to Eat Dirt when the Bulldogs make the short seven mile trip to Ray Rogers Stadium to face the Pirates. The winner will clinch the Region 3-6A title and most importantly host a Class 6A playoff game next week, the loser will most likely will be the No. 2 seed and will host as well. Brandon is very balanced on offense led by running game with Vincent Butler and Corey Proctor and hard to score on defensively. Pearl is balanced on offense led by Johnny Winston at running back. Pirates have won five in a row since losing to Petal back in September. Brandon was the rivalry game five years in a row and they make it six.
Pick: Brandon 31-21
Starkville (7-3) at Clinton (9-1)
The defending 6A state champion Yellowjackets is in do or die mode as it will head into Arrow Stadium with a lot on the line. If Starkville wins they’ll be the No. 2 seed and host a first round Class 6A playoff game, if they lose their out. If Clinton wins they’re Region 2-6A champs, if they lose they will drop to the No. 4 seed. Starkville moved 4-star LB Willie Gay to quarterback on offense and it worked with him scoring five touchdowns. But will that be enough to stop Cam Akers and company? It’ll be a shootout, but going with the home team.
Pick: Clinton 35-31
Biloxi (6-4) at Gulfport (5-5)
Indians and Admirals will meet in a pivotal Region 4-6A game at Milner Stadium. If Biloxi wins along with George County and D’Iberville then the Indians will host a playoff game next week. Gulfport needs a win to get in, it can get in if they lose but will need help. Admirals are led by versatile quarterback Cleveland Ford, while the Indians lean on a fierce running game led by Nick Ross. Indians get revenge on arch rival.
Pick: Biloxi 24-17
Laurel (9-1) at Wayne County (6-4)
For the third year in a row the Tornadoes and the War Eagles will meet for the Region 3-5A championship. Regardless of outcome both teams will host a first round 5A playoff game next week. Laurel has won nine games in a row since their Week 2 loss to Hattiesburg and are led by an explosive offense that is led by Tyquan Ulmer and Dontario Drummond. Wayne County is led by rushing that is averaging 219.8 yards a game led by Chris Cooley and Schdarious Chambers. Tornadoes just too explosive on offense.
Pick: Laurel 35-24
Stone (8-2) at Hattiesburg (8-3)
The Tomcats have been if not the biggest surprise in Class 5A and if they win on Friday night against Hattiesburg they will clinch the Region 4-5A title. If Hattiesburg wins they will need Picayune to lose to clinch the region championship, if not the are the No. 2 seed. The Tigers have one of the state’s most explosive offenses led by Julian Conner, Fabian Franklin and Jordan Murphy. Stone is led by a rushing attack that is averaging 280.3 yards a game and is led by Terrion Avery that has rushed for 1,825 yards with 24 touchdowns. Tigers offense just too much.
Pick: Hattiesburg 38-28
Itawamba AHS (8-2) at Senatobia (7-3)
It’ll be a very intriguing matchup when Itawamba AHS makes the trip to face Senatobia in the first round of the Class 4A playoffs in an all-Warrior matchup. Itawamba AHS is very balanced offensively averaging 198.3 yards receiving and 200.7 yards rushing. Austin King has passed for 1,983 yards with 20 touchdowns to lead IAHS. Senatobia is led by is led by the duo of Cooper Stevens at quarterback and Tulane commit Tucker Thomas at wide receiver. Senatobia in a close one at home.
Pick: Senatobia 24-21
Philadelphia (7-4) at Raleigh (10-1)
Tornadoes and Lions will meet in one of many intriguing Class 3A first round matchups. This one will be about who can stop which teams running game. Philadelphia is averaging 204.2 yards a game on the ground and is led by Malik Hickman (497 yards, 8 touchdowns) and Cortney Smith (1,111 yards, 15 touchdowns). Raleigh is coming off its first loss last week in double overtime to Morton, but the Lions is averaging 399.9 yards a game and is led by Kris Moncrief (1,416 yards, 19 touchdowns). Raleigh rebounds.
Pick: Raleigh 23-22
Union (8-3) at Pisgah (9-2)
If there is one dangerous No. 4 seed in the opening round of the MHSAA playoffs in Class 4A, 3A or 2A it’s the Union Yellow Jackets. Union dropped three of its last four games in Region 5-2A to get the fourth spot. Yellow Jackets are very balanced on offense with Tradarius Harris at quarterback, Donavan Hickman at wide receiver and Jarriat Hunter at running back. Pisgah is led by do-it-all running back Don Ragsdale. Ragsdale just too much for Jackets.
Pick: Pisgah 27-20
Jackson Academy (6-5) at Jackson Prep (10-1)
For the second time in three years two of the state’s biggest rivals will meet in the first round of the MAIS Class AAAA, Division I playoffs. Raiders will look to beat their rivals from Lakeland Drive for the first time since 2013 and are led by Noah Thigpen and Langston Anderson on offense. Jackson Prep is led by the heavy rushing attack led by Jacob Crawley and Jerrion Ealy. Patriots continue dominance over their rivals.
Pick: Jackson Prep 35-20
Tri-County Academy (10-1) at Wilkinson Christian (9-1)
Rams and Rebels will meet in the second round of the MAIS Class AA playoffs in Woodville in a rematch of last year’s AA state championship that ended in a 8-7 thriller in favor of WCCA. Rebels will be looking for revenge behind the duo of Beau Johnson and Swayze Bozeman. Wilkinson Christian leans heavily on quarterback Caleb Poole. Rebels get revenge and move on to semifinals.
Pick: Tri-County 20-10