Ten Games to Watch — Week 2

Clinton's Cam Akers.



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

The fourth annual Little Egg Bowl will go down at Oxford in a rivalry that Starkville has owned lately. Both teams are coming off nail biting wins in Week 1. Oxford scored 19 unanswered points in the fourth quarter to beat Southaven on the road, while Starkville held on at home to beat Noxubee County by three. The Charger passing game is a key behind John Reese McClure. Starkville will lean heavily on the defense led by Ole Miss commit Willie Gay. Jackets make it three in a row.

Pick: Starkville 20-17


Madison Central (1-0) at Brandon (1-0)

The Bulldogs and Jaguars will meet in an always very intriguing between two metro area rivals. Brandon, the top ranked team in the state, is coming off a convincing blowout win on the road, while Madison Central won in overtime last week on a blocked field goal. Brandon is just loaded in several positions all over the field, while Madison Central is led by QB and FAU commit Jack Walker. Dogs end small two game skid over Jags.

Pick: Brandon 28-17


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

The Vikings and Pirates played in one thriller of a game last year that saw Warren Central winning by a field goal. Expect about the same thing, but Warren Central is coming off an impressing win over Oak Grove in Week 1. The Viking potent running game is led by Jesse Wilson, while Pearl is led by Jake Smithhart and Johnny Winston. Warren Central defense makes one key stop.

Pick: Warren Central 31-27


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

This game should actually move fairly quickly. Why? Both teams like to run the ball and run the clock. Both the Admirals and Panthers are coming off impressive wins in Week 1. Petal showed a running game filled with weapons with Tulane commit Stephon Huderson, Tanner Estill and Xavier Yancey. Gulfport will lead heavily on their ground game with quarterback Cleveland Ford and running back Larozzo Shugart. Panther running game is just too hard to stop.

Pick: Petal 28-21


Noxubee County (0-1) at Columbus (1-0)

Rivals located about 30 minutes will meet in a battle of heavy weights. Columbus is coming off a big road win over 3A favorite Kemper County, while Noxubee County is coming a tough loss to Starkville on the road. Falcons are riding the wheels of Mississippi State commit Kylin Hill. Tigers are leaning heavy on a defense and wide receiver Kymbotric Mason. Falcons get it done at home.

Pick: Columbus 23-20


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

It’s odd saying a South Panola team is starting the season, but the youthful Tigers ran into the best player in the state last week. On the other hand, Meridian is coming off an overtime loss to Madison Central. Meridian looked pretty superb defensively behind Southern Miss commit Santrell Latham. South Panola might have found a dynamic duo in Patrick Shegog and Jordan Strong on offense. Tigers get it done on the road.

Pick: South Panola 26-20


Forest (1-0) at Hazlehurst (1-0)

Last year the Bearcats and Indians just so happened to play each other twice, once in the regular and then again in the second round of the Class 3A playoffs that saw Hazlehurst ended up winning both games. Both teams will run the ball heavily. Hazlehurst is led by tail back Malik Gray, while Forest’s rushing attack is led by Ranauldrick Murrell and Tyvon Harper. Indians are tough to beat at home.

Pick: Hazlehurst 16-12


Booneville (1-0) at Baldwyn (1-0)

It’s always entertaining when the Bearcats and Blue Devils meet in the annual Skunk Bowl. Baldwyn has won the last two in the series and pretty handling too. The Bearcats have a very balanced attack on offense led by quarterback John Swinney. Booneville introduced everyone to a potent ground game with Preston Stroupe and Kendall Guy. Bearcats make it three in a row over rival.

Pick: Baldwyn 30-20


St. Martin (1-0) at MRA (2-0)

Yellow Jackets will make the three-hour trip north to Madison to face the Patriots in a MHSAA/MAIS battle. Last year saw St. Martin run all over the Patriots and Hunter Hulsey began his campaign has the MRA quarterback. Yellow Jackets are very explosive offensively with quarterback Wayne Overman III and wide receiver Kalem Reddix. Hulsey leads a MRA offense that can put up points in bunches. St. Martin has too much fire power.

Pick: St. Martin 35-20


Washington School (1-0) at Jackson Prep (1-0)

The two defending state champions in the MAIS’ highest classification will meet in Flowood. Patriots will lean on the potent rushing attack led by running backs Jerrian Ealy and Jacob Crawley as well as quarterback Chance Lovertich. Anderson Shelley is leading the way for the Generals as well as Ole Miss commit Lavonte Epson. Ricky Black gets career coaching win No. 347 and sole possession of second place on the all-time win’s list.

Pick: Jackson Prep 27-20