South Panola (9-3) at Madison Central (9-2)
Tigers head down to the Jungle to face the Jaguars in the first round of the Class 6A playoffs. South Panola is led by quarterback and Tulane commit Patrick Shegog that anchors the offense that averages 177 yards per game passing and 206 yards per game rushing. Madison Central is led by a rushing attack that averages 228 yards per game led by Jimmy Holiday, Cam White and Cedric Beal. The Jaguar defense only gives up 12.5 points per game and makes the difference.
Pick: Madison Central 20-17
Warren Central (8-3) at Tupelo (11-0)
Vikings will make the long trip up to Tupelo to face the Golden Wave in the first round of the Class 6A playoffs. This one will be a battle of two running games and two good defenses. Tupelo is averaging 242 yards per game on the ground behind quarterback Stephon McGlaun and running back Jaquerrious Williams. Warren Central is averaging 217 yards per game rushing led by Corey Wilson, Anfernee Funchess, Fred Barnum and Jerrious Stovall. The Golden Wave defense only gives up 9.9 points per game, while Warren Central only gives up 12 points per game. Golden Wave in a close one at home.
Pick: Tupelo 17-14
Laurel (7-4) at Picayune (9-2)
Tornadoes head down Interstate 59 to face the Maroon Tide in the first round of the Class 5A playoffs. This is a rematch of the 5A South State title game last year that Laurel won, so Picayune is definitely out for revenge. Laurel has been rolling late in the season with Sinclair Ulmer at quarterback to lead the offense that averages 202 yards per game rushing and 148 yards passing per game. Zias Perryman anchors the running game for the Tornadoes. For Picayune it is all about the running game that averages 377 yards per game led by Shaun Anderson, V.J. Holt, Jairice Travis and David Baker. Maroon Tide gets revenge.
Pick: Picayune 30-27
Itawamba AHS (10-2) at Greenwood (9-2)
Indians will head over to Greenwood to face the Bulldogs in the second round of the Class 4A playoffs. Itawamba can be one road team that could come away with a win. Indians are averaging 187 yards per game rushing led by Ike Chandler, Lamarcus Rhodes and Jamal Shumpert. IAHS also averages 156 yards per game passing led by quarterback Jaxon Orr. Bulldogs lean on the ground game that averages 257 yards per game led by Jaylen Stanley, Lavell Nelson and Walter Ivory. Indians get it done on the road.
Pick: Itawamba AHS 27-26
Charleston (9-3) at North Panola (11-0)
Two old region rivals will meet in the second round of the Class 3A playoffs when the Tigers make the short trip up to Sardis to face the Cougars. Charleston has won the last six meetings between the two teams. Tigers are on led by a ground game that averages 191 yards per game led by Fred Hervey, De’Antre Prince and Anthony Truly. Charleston‘s defense only allows 14.4 points per game. The Cougars are as balanced on offense averaging 252 yards per game rushing and 237 yards per game passing led by K.J. Jefferson, Sylvonta Oliver, Jonathan Harris and Jamarvis Echols. Cougars finally get over the hump.
Pick: North Panola 26-23
Perry Central (10-1) at Taylorsville (11-1)
For the second time this year the Bulldogs will face the Tartars except this time it’s in the second round of the Class 2A playoffs. Perry Central won the regular season matchup 26-7, so Taylorsville is out for payback. It’s a fast pass happy offense against a run heavy off.. Perry Central is led by running back Mckail Sumrall and quarterback Tijuane Bolton. The Bulldog defense only gives up 9.2 points per game. Freshmen quarterback Ty Keyes has tossed for 3,346 yards with 32 touchdowns to lead the pass happy offense that averages 286 yards per game for Taylorsville. Bulldogs in a close one.
Pick: Perry Central 20-19
Noxapater (8-3) at Stringer (9-3)
Tigers head down to Stringer to face the Red Devils in the first round of the Class 1A playoffs. Both teams like to lean on the ground game. Noxapater is averaging 181 yards per game led by Joshua McClendon and Raheem Hathorn. Stringer is averaging 203 yards per game led by Anthony Thomas, Cayleb Dyess and Cooper Rogers. The Red Devils are also averaging 156 yards per game passing with Dyess along his top receivers Reece Barber and Keyshaun Dease. Red Devil passing game just too much.
Pick: Stringer 30-20
Jackson Academy (9-2) at Parklane Academy (9-2)
Raiders will head down to McComb for the second time in four weeks to face the Pioneers in an MAIS Class AAAA, Division I semifinal matchup. Parklane won in a close one 28-21 in the regular season. Jackson Academy is led by the duo in the backfield in Toryn Steed and Kinkead Dent. Pioneers is averaging 314 yards per game rushing led by Jay Smith, Trent Coleman, Brandt Watson and Kyrin Bickham. Raiders get revenge and move on
Pick: Jackson Academy 27-24
Adams Christian (11-1) at Starkville Academy (11-1)
Rebels head to Starkville to face the Volunteers in the semifinals 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 9-game winning streak and the Rebel defense only allows 13.7 points per game. Starkville Academy is led by a defense that only gives up 10.3 points a game and offensively is led by Ben Owens, Raegan Richardson, Willie Latham and Nathan Pollan. Vols advance to first state title game since 2014.
Pick: Starkville Academy 24-23
Greenville St. Joseph (9-2) at Centreville Academy (10-2)
Irish make the long trip down to Centreville to face the Tigers in the semifinals of the MAIS Class AA playoffs. It’ll be a whole lot of rushing attempts in this one. Centreville Academy always lean on the ground game that averages 286 yards per game led by Stone Reynolds, Wyatt Brabham, Daniel Vine, Tyler Thomassie and Cody Brashier. Greenville St. Joe is led by quarterback and Navy commit Brice Johnson, who has passed for 2,383 yards with 35 touchdowns and has rushed for 698 yards with 12 touchdowns. Jonathan Jordan and Dillon Johnson lead the rushing attack for Irish. Greenville St. Joe gets job done on road.
Pick: Greenville St. Joseph 25-22
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