Ten Games to Watch — Week 4

Oak Grove linebacker Hayes Maples. Photo courtesy of Zac Chamblee/601ImpactSports


Oak Grove (3-0) at Hattiesburg (3-0)

Warriors make the short trip down Hardy Street to face the Tigers in a Top 10 showdown between Pine Belt rivals. Oak Grove have been very balanced offensively led by quarterback John Rhys Plumlee along with running back Orlando Simon and receiver Kevin Barnett. Defensively, the Warriors is led by Hayes Maples and Jaden Carmody. Hattiesburg is led by the explosive offense with Jarod Conner, Fabian Franklin, D’Andre Humbles and Drexlan Allen. Warriors continue to roll.

Pick: Oak Grove 38-27


Tupelo (3-0) at Brandon (2-1)

Golden Wave make the long trip down to Brandon to face the Bulldogs in a game Brandon will have revenge on its mind. Last year the Bulldogs lost to Tupelo 14-13 in a game where they went for the game-winning two-point conversion that was missed. Tupelo will bring a potent rushing attack on offense led by Stephon McGlaun and Jaquerrious Williams. Brandon is led by a passing game with Will Rogers, Jonathan Mingo, Bo Whatley, Reed Tyler and Matt Stowers. Wave defense behind Jett Johnson and Peter Gray just too much.

Pick: Tupelo 21-17


Poplarville (3-0) at Stone (2-0)

If you like teams that run the ball a lot then this one is for you when the Hornets bring its potent running game over to Wiggins to face the Tomcats. Poplarville is averaging 405 yards per game on the ground that is led by Austin Bolton (8 rushing touchdowns), Roosevelt Raine, Cory Knight and Antonio Barnes. Stone is averaging 208 yards per game that is led by Trey Arrington, Travis Picco and Jakalyn Green. Hornets rushing too potent.

Pick: Poplarville 38-21


Noxubee County (2-1) at Meridian (0-2), Saturday

Tigers make the trip down Highway 45 to Ray Stadium to face the Wildcats in a special Saturday edition. Meridian is coming playing Tupelo and national powerhouse Hoover (Ala.) and is hungry to seek its first win behind quarterback Tevarrious Adams, linebacker Deuntra Hyman and receiver Curt Martin. Noxubee is led by a the two-quarterback system with Maleik Stallings and Armoni Clark. Rashad Eades has become the Tigers top target at receiver. Wildcats get first win of season.

Pick: Meridian 30-20


Aberdeen (3-0) at Pontotoc (3-0)

Bulldogs will head over Pontotoc to face the Warriors in a battle of undefeated teams. It’s actually Pontotoc’s first home game of the season. Aberdeen is led a potent rushing attack that is averaging 297 yards per game led by Fred Fields and Dajoun Dobbs (437 yards rushing, 7 touchdowns). Terrance Rowe and Isaiah McMillian have three receiving touchdowns a piece to give Aberdeen a passing attack. Pontotoc is very balanced offensively led by quarterback Justin Carter, running back Immanuel Vance and receiver Austin Morphis. Warriors take care of business at home.

Pick: Pontotoc 28-19


Jefferson Davis County (3-0) at East Central (2-0)

No team is more dangerous than Jefferson Davis County right now. The Jaguars will make their second trip of the year to face the Hornets in Hurley in a battle of two run heavy offenses. Jefferson Davis County is coming off a big road win over Wayne County last week and will look to do same behind Malik Shorts, Lyric Hall, Ronald Baker and Jafharis McKines. Hornets will once again lean on its running game that is averaging 317 yards per game led by Tony Brown and Ryan Evans. Jags have too much weapons on offense.

Pick: Jefferson Davis County 30-20


Scott Central (3-0) at Florence (3-0)

Another game this week that’ll feature two heavy running games Friday night when the Rebels head over to Florence to face the Eagles. Florence is coming off an overtime win over Terry, and is averaging 171 yards on the ground led by Degerrick Lee, Josh Quick and Ian Vaughn. Scott Central has blown out its first three opponents and is averaging 303 yards per game on the ground led by T.J. Wash and Ken Butler. Eagles at home.

Pick: Florence 33-26


Houston (1-2) at Itawamba AHS (3-0)

Hilltoppers will make the trip over to Fulton to face the Indians in a battle of 3A and 4A contenders. Houston is off to a tough 1-2 start, but their loses are to contenders in Pontotoc and New Hope and their one win is against defending 2A state champ Calhoun City. Hilltoppers are led by a ground game that is averaging close to 120 yards led by Urriah Shepherd, Quentin May and Bobby Townsend. Indians are very balanced offensively averaging 188 yards rushing and 153 yards passing led by Jaxon Orr and Ike Chandler. Itawamba protects the home turf.

Pick: Itawamba AHS 27-22


NE Lauderdale (3-0) at Jackson Academy (3-0)

Trojans make the trip over to Jackson to face the Raiders in MHSAA-MAIS battle of undefeated teams. NE Lauderdale is coming off an overtime win over rival SE Lauderdale and comes in with a potent ground that is averaging 312 yards per game that is led by Kamerion Hulin (370 yards, 5 touchdowns). Jackson Academy is also led by a point rushing attack with Kinkead Dent, Toryn Steed and Tae Stewart. Raiders protect the Brickyard.

Pick: Jackson Academy 35-28


East Webster (3-0) at Starkville Academy (2-1)

Wolverines make the short trip over from Mathiston to Starkville to face the Volunteers in a MHSAA-MAIS matchup. East Webster comes in very balanced averaging with 161 yards through the air and 126 yards on the ground. Quarterback Charlie Brand has thrown for 478 yards with six touchdowns and also has three rushing touchdowns to lead the offense. Ben Owens and Brady Richardson leads the way offensively for Starkville Academy. Wolverines offense too much to handle.

Pick: East Webster 24-17