Ten Games to Watch — Week 2

Laurel quarterback Xavier Evans.



Warren Central (1-0) at Pearl (1-0)

Vikings will make the trip on I-20 over to Pearl to face the Pirates in a battle of 1-0 teams. Both the Vikings and Pirates leaned a lot on its defense in Week 1 allowing just three points apiece. Warren Central did have two defensive touchdowns. Pearl’s offense will oppose problems for the Vikings with Jake Smithhart, Tylan Knight, Johnny Winston and MSU commit Johnquarise Patterson. Like always Warren Central will lean on a heavy rushing attack with Fred Barnum and Jerrious Stovall. Pirates get job done at home in a close one.

Pick: Pearl 24-21


Oxford (1-0) at Starkville (1-0)

Chargers make the hour and a half trip down to Starkville to face the Yellowjackets in the fifth annual Little Egg Bowl. Starkville has won three in a row in the series over the Chargers (last time Oxford won was 2013). The Yellowjackets opened the Chris Jones era with shocking 43-3 thumping of Noxubee County last week in which Starkville rushed for a total 220 yards behind Rodriques Clark, Malik Brown and Andreus Swanigan. Oxford’s defense held its own last against Vicksburg allowing just 109 yards of total offense led by C.J. Terrell and Quentin Wilfawn. Jackets make it four in a row.

Pick: Starkville 28-20


Wayne County (1-0) at Oak Grove (1-0)

Since the series opened back up in 2013 Oak Grove has won all four meetings against Wayne County. Will the War Eagles snap the four-game skid or will the Warriors make it five in a row? Both teams are coming off blow out wins in Week 1 and both will lean a lot on its defense. Oak Grove will be carried by defensive end Jaden Carmody, linebacker/halfback Hayes Maples and quarterback John Rhys Plumlee. Wayne County is led by quarterback Zabryan Jackson and leans heavily on its defense led by C.J. Chambers, Quentin Bivens and Tre Williamson. Warriors make it five in a row over War Eagles.

Pick: Oak Grove 35-28


South Panola (1-0) at Brandon (0-1)

South Panola is back in the Jackson metro for the second consecutive week to face the Bulldogs in Brandon’s brand-new football stadium. Tigers are coming off a very emotional 24-23 win over Clinton, while Brandon fell 10-3 in a defensive battle with Madison Central. Tigers are led by dual-threat quarterback and Tulane commit Patrick Shegog, who had three touchdown passes and rushed for another last week. The Bulldogs will look to bounce back offensively after only producing just 151 yards of total offense last week. Tigers spoil the home-opener.

Pick: South Panola 24-17


Gulfport (1-0) at Petal (0-1)

Admirals make the trip up from the Gulf Coast to face the Panthers in a matchup where one team is looking to keep momentum and the other is looking to bounce back and for payback. Last year Gulfport won a tight one 12-7, so Petal will have that fresh on their minds. Admirals are coming a win over George County in the inaugural Port City Bowl and is led by quarterback T.Q. Newsome and a very stingy defense. Petal is coming off a lost at home in a shootout with rival Hattiesburg and is led by the tandem of quarterback Jordan Wilson and the Watts twin brothers at receiver in Natorian and Nataurean. Panthers bounce back at home.

Pick: Petal 24-21


West Point (1-0) at Louisville (1-0)

Green Wave make the trip down to Louisville to take on the Wildcats in a battle of 1-0 teams. Both teams are coming off blow out wins in West Point’s thumping of Columbus and Louisville shutout Holmes Central 24-0. West Point will once again lean on very potent rushing attack led by Chris Calvert and MSU commit Marcus Murphy. Wildcats are led by their own rushing attack in Deontae Yarbrough, Kenneth Knowles and Kevon Jackson. Green Wave have won the last four meetings in this series and will continue that trend behind Murphy and company.

Pick: West Point 31-17


Hattiesburg (1-0) at Laurel (1-0), Saturday

It is the 96th addition of the Battle for the Little Brown Jug between the Tigers and the Golden Tornadoes. Hattiesburg is coming off a shootout win over rival Petal, while Laurel went up to Jackson and defeated Callaway. Even with a new quarterback in Jarod Conner the Tigers once again are very explosive on offense with Fabian Franklin, Darius Ruffin, Dandre Humbles and Drexlan Allen. Laurel is youthful and breaking in a new quarterback in Xavier Evans. Hattiesburg has won three in a row in the series and defense is led by Southern Miss commit Will Robinson and makes the difference.

Pick: Hattiesburg 38-27


Philadelphia (1-0) at Bay Springs (1-0)

Tornadoes will make the trip down Highway 15 to face the Bulldogs in a clash of Class 2A contenders. If you like teams that run the ball a lot this one is for you and both teams are coming off big wins in Week 1. Like always Philadelphia is led by a potent running attack led by Malik Hickman, Cortney Smith and Ahyunte Crosby. Bay Springs had 380 yards rushing last week against Stringer and are led by Anson Windham, Jamarious Hosey and Austin Sigsworth. The Tornado defense gets job done on road.

Pick: Philadelphia 22-16


Hollandale Simmons (1-0) at West Lowndes (1-0)

The Blue Devils will make the trip over to Columbus from the Delta to face the Panthers in a battle of 1A contenders. Both teams are coming off shutouts in Week 1. Simmons is coming a 28-0 win over Coahoma AHS in which the game got called at halftime due to weather, while West Lowndes knocked off Caledonia 14-0. Blue Devils have the state’s longest active winning streak at 26 games and are led by do-it-all athlete Marquez Pam. West Lowndes is led by Quinshawn Lucious. Blue Devil defense is just too much for Panthers.

Pick: Simmons 27-19


Indianola Academy (1-0) at Greenville St. Joseph (1-0)

Colonels make the short trip on Highway 82 over to Greenville to face the Irish. Indianola Academy has the MAIS’ longest active winning streak at 15 games and is coming off a surprising 41-14 blowout win over Pillow Academy. Will Davis, T.K. Bolden and Sebastian Harris led the Colonels offensively. Greenville St. Joe is coming off a 30-7 win over rival Riverside and is led by quarterback and Navy commit Brice Johnson. Indianola Academy extends winning streak to 16 games in a close one.

Pick: Indianola Academy 27-24