Ten Games to Watch — Week 2

Pearl defensive end Jordan Bailey. Photo by Chris Brooks.

Here are the state’s top ten games to watch this week including two of the top 6A teams in the state with Pearl travelling to Warren Central.


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

This matchup has been nothing short of thrilling the last few years as the Pirates make the trip along I-20 to Vicksburg to face Warren Central. Pearl is coming off a 36-7 whipping of Brookhaven, while Warren Central’s game with Oxford got called early in the third quarter and was ruled no contest. This will be a battle of running games. Pearl’s rushing attack will be led by running back Kenyatte Harrell and Sam Brumfield, while Warren Central’s will be led by Jerrious Stovall and Corey Wilson, Jr. Both have outstanding teams but we are going with the defending 6A state champs and No. 10-ranked Pirates on the road.

Pick: Pearl 24-21


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

Both teams are coming off big wins as the No. 8-ranked Wildcats make the trip up to face the No. 8-ranked Green Wave in an early Top 10 showdown. This will be a low scoring defensive struggle and a battle of two heavy running teams. Louisville will be led by quarterback Deonte Yarbrough and Kevon Jackson to lead the running game, while Charles Moore and Ashanti Cistrunk will anchor a stiff Wildcat defense. West Point will be leaning on Jake Chambless, Brandon Harris, Kameron Martin and Dantariyus. Jaylen Cungious and Jaylon Webb lead the always vicious Green Wave defense. West Point wins a close one at home and extends their winning streak to 30 games.

Pick: West Point 14-13


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

If you like explosive offenses, then this one is for you as the No. 9-ranked Golden Tornadoes make the short trip down to D. I. Patrick Stadium to face the No. 2 ranked Tigers in the 97th annual Battle for the Little Brown Jug. There will be points scored early and often with these two offenses. Hattiesburg will lean on Jarod Conner, Drexlan Allen and Darius Ruffin to lead the high-powered offense. Laurel will lean more on a heavy rushing attack with running backs Michael Terrell and Zias Perryman along with quarterbacks Xavier Evans and Sinclair Ulmer. The Tigers take the Little Brown Jug for the fifth straight year.

Pick: Hattiesburg 35-31


Picayune (1-0) at D’Iberville (1-0)

Picayune heads over to D’Iberville to face the Warriors in a battle of two power running teams. Both teams are coming off big wins as D’Iberville demolished Tylertown, while Picayune got revenge on rival Poplarville. Jortin Raine, Jakail Myers and Cameron Thomas will lead the rushing attack for Picayune; while Jaden Walley and Marquis Whitley anchor the running game for D’Iberville. The Warriors have the more veteran offensive line behind Louis Paul Smith, but the Tide rushing attack gets it done on the road.

Pick: Picayune 23-20


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

The Yellowjackets make the trip to Oxford to face the Chargers in the sixth annual Little Egg Bowl. Starkville is coming off a big win over Noxubee County, while Oxford’s game with Warren Central got called in the third quarter and was ruled no contest. Starkville has a very balanced offense led by quarterback Luke Altmyer along with running back Rodrigues Clark and receiver Rufus Harvey. Defensive end Jalil Clemons and linebacker Zach Edwards anchor a fierce Starkville defense. Oxford will bring more of passing attack led by John Meagher, Sam Bianco, Dede Pegues and Jeremiah Pegues. The top-ranked Jackets will be too much in this one.

Pick: Starkville 31-21


Charleston (1-0) at Lafayette (1-0)

Charleston heads over to Oxford to face the Commodores in a matchup of contenders in Class 5A and 3A. Both teams are going to lean heavy on the running game. Lafayette had three running backs rush for over 100 yards last week in win over Cleveland Central and those were Jamie Shaw, Randy Anderson and Lance Stewart. The Commodore defense is very stingy led by Eric Jeffries and Brandon Turnage. The Tigers will lean on DeAntre Price and Quynn Crawford to anchor their running attack. The Dores just too much in this one.

Pick: Lafayette 34-20


Choctaw County (1-0) at Winona (1-0)

Chargers make the short trip up to Winona to face the Tigers in a key matchup of contenders in Class 3A. This is only one of four home games for Winona this year. Tigers will lean on a running attack led by An’darius Coffey and Blake Cooper with Jay Lofton being the top receiver. Winona’s defense is what carries the team behind Tay’shaun Pointer and Jalen Campbell. Choctaw County also has a stiff rushing attack led by Tylan Carter and Rakeim Ashford. Tigers tough to beat at home.

Pick: Winona 24-20


Jefferson Davis County (1-0) at Collins (1-0)

Jefferson Davis County is making the short trip along Highway 84 to face the Tigers in a huge matchup of the defending 3A state champs and a title contender in 2A. It’ll be a battle of one pass-happy offense against a run-heavy offense. The Collins passing attack is lethal behind quarterback Hershey McLaurin and receivers Markel McLaurin, Cyril Graves and Zyrion Thompson. The Jaguar heavy rushing attack is led by Kyser Booth, Ricky Griffith, Justin Berry and quarterback Michael Carraway. The Jaguar defense makes the difference in this rivalry.

Pick: Jefferson Davis County 26-20


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

Bulldogs head up Highway 15 to face the Tornadoes in an early battle of Class 2A title contenders. Philadelphia’s game with Ruleville got called in the second quarter due to weather, while Bay Springs is coming off a big win over rival Stringer. The Tornadoes have opened up a more balance offense under new coach Bobby Hall with Asher Morgan at quarterback and Lideatrick Griffin at receiver, along with Deiondre Fox at running back. The Bulldogs’ heavy rushing attack is led by Anson Windham, Adrian Cole and Jamarius Hosey. Bay Springs running game is just too much.

Pick: Bay Springs 23-20


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

The Irish make the short trip to Indianola to face the Colonels in a battle of MAIS title contenders in Class AA and AAA. Indianola Academy always leans on a heavy run game and a stiff defense led by Will Davis, Dede Willis and Woods Toler. Greenville St. Joe is led by the backfield duo of Dillon Johnson and Trey Benson. The Irish running game is the difference.

Pick: Greenville St. Joe 34-24