Ten Games to Watch — Week 5

Northwest Rankin quarterback Jamari Jones. Photo by Chris Brooks.

Northwest Rankin (3-0) at Brandon (3-1)

Northwest Rankin makes the short ride down Highway 471 to face Brandon in a top 10 showdown of Rankin County rivals. NWR is coming off a bye week, while Brandon is coming off a big road win over Tupelo. The No. 5 Cougars are led by a fierce rushing attack that is averaging 377 yards per game. It is led by Dee Baker, P.J. Lindsey and Jamari Jones. Jackson Prep transfer linebacker Hayden Hill has been a huge boost for the Cougar defense. No. 8 Brandon is led by a passing attack that averages 204 yards per game and is anchored by Will Rogers and Jonathan Mingo. Dallas Smith leads the Bulldog rushing attack. It’ll be a close one, but the Cougar rushing attack gets it done.

Pick: Northwest Rankin 24-21


Noxubee County (2-2) at West Point (2-1)

If you like teams that run the ball, then this one is for you as Noxubee and West Point square off in a match-up of defending 5A and 4A state champions. West Point is coming off a bye week after seeing its 30-game winning streak come to an end against Starkville. The No. 4 Green Wave is averaging 224.7 yards per game on the ground led by Brandon Harris, Kameron Martin, Jimothy Mays, Dantariyus Cannon and Jake Chambless. The Green Wave defense is led by Brentt Cunningham. Noxubee is averaging 228 yards per game rushing led by Maleik Stallings and Jaqualyn Smith. The Green Wave bounce back.

Pick: West Point 28-20


Louisville (3-1) at Grenada (2-2)

Louisville heads up to face Grenada in a matchup of 5A and 4A contenders. This is Grenada’s final tune up before starting region play next week. No. 10 Louisville is anchored by a rushing attack that averages 174.5 yards per game led by Kevon Jackson and Michael Foster. The Wildcat defense is only allowing 9.7 points per game led by Charles Moore and Ashanti Cistrunk. The Grenada offense is also led by a running game that averages 216 yards per game led by Demarquese Gibson and Dontavious Shipp. The Wildcat defense takes care of business o the road.

Pick: Louisville 27-17


Oxford (2-1) at Pontotoc (4-0)

Oxford makes the short trip over to the hollow to face the Warriors. Oxford is coming off a big win over rival Lafayette, while Pontotoc has been rolling through its first four games. The Chargers are led by a running game that is averaging 158 yards per game anchored by Jeremiah Pegues, Kelvin Wadley and quarterback John Meagher. The Warriors are very balanced on offense, averaging 190 yards passing and 175 yards rushing. They are led by quarterback Justin Carter along with running backs Gabe Harmon and Immanuel Vance, as well as receiver Tres Vaughn. Warriors get revenge from last year.
Pick: Pontotoc 17-14


Corinth (3-1) at Itawamba AHS (3-1)

This one could be a shootout as Corinth heads down to Fulton to face Itawamba AHS in a all-Warrior battle of 4A teams that made deep playoff runs last year. Corinth will be led by a fierce rushing attack that averages 329 yards anchored by Zach Patterson, D.T. Sheffield and Tameron Patterson. Itawamba AHS is more balanced offensively averaging 218 yards rushing and 190 yards passing led by quarterback Jaxon Orr, running back Ike Chandler and receiver Davion Sistrunk. Corinth offense controls the clock and keeps the potent Itawamba AHS offense off the field.

Pick: Corinth 21-20


NE Lauderdale (3-1) at Neshoba Central (4-0)

Two run heavy teams will meet in Philadelphia as the Trojans make trip up to face the Rockets. NE Lauderdale is coming off its first loss of the season last week on homecoming to Jackson Academy and are aiming to bounce back. Quarterback Kamerion Hulin and running back Michael McClinton anchor the rushing attack along with Chris Hardy. Neshoba Central is coming off a big overtime win over West Lauderdale in a game the Rockets threw one pass. Neshoba Central is averaging 371 yards rushing led by Austin Day, Jarquez Hunter and Tyler Mathis. Rockets protect home turf and remain undefeated.

Pick: Neshoba Central 27-21


Tylertown (2-2) at South Pike (3-1)

Tylertown makes the short trip down to Magnolia to face the Eagles in a battle of 3A and 4A contenders. South Pike is led by a potent offense that is averaging 327 yards rushing and 124 yards passing anchored by quarterback Dontavious Turner, running backs Deldrionn Amos and Kadarius Jackson along with receiver Alex Adams. Tylertown is a very balanced offensive team averaging 167 yards passing and 152 yards rushing led by quarterback Jashon Baker, running back Javonte Walker and receiver Lamara Thompson. Eagles take care of business at home in a close one.

Pick: South Pike 31-26


Columbia (4-0) at Taylorsville (4-0)

Wildcats head up to Taylorsville to face the Tartars in a battle of unbeatens. Taylorsville is led by a potent offense that is averaging 305 yards per game passing and 139.8 yards per game rushing anchored by quarterback Ty Keyes, whose thrown for 1,204 yards with 13 touchdowns. Running back Keyon Bass and receivers Raven Arrington and Jalon Clark help anchor the offense attack. Columbia is led by a heavy rushing attack that is averaging 402.5 yards per game led by Omar Johnson, Kentrel Bullock, Detorres Lewis and Ralpheal Luter. Tartar offense just too much for Wildcats but it will be close.

Pick: Taylorsville 31-27


Calhoun City (2-2) at Water Valley (4-0)

Wildcats head up to Water Valley to have the unbeaten Blue Devils in a matchup of 3A and 2A contenders. Calhoun City is led by the always potent rushing attack that is averaging 182.5 yards per game led by Anfernee Campbell, Chardarius Hill, Jay Bailey and Hayden Goodson. Water Valley is also led by a rushing attack that averages 154.5 yards per game led by Kenterrious Rucker, Jacob Truss and quarterback Blayne Clark. Quaterrius Tolbert is one to watch for Water Valley. Blue Devils in a close one at home.

Pick: Water Valley 21-20


Choctaw County (3-1) at Eupora (3-1)

Chargers make the short trip up to Eupora to face the Eagles in a matchup of two run heavy teams. Eupora is averaging 198.8 yards per game rushing led by quarterback Edwin Herard and running backs Preston Perkins and Abraham Hodges. Receiver Camron Culpepper has five touchdown receptions for the Eagles so don’t sleep on the passing game for Eupora. Choctaw County is averaging 216.3 yards per game rushing led by quarterback Tylan Carter and running backs Rakeim Ashford, Dicenzo Miller and Kaleb Nichols. Chargers defense makes the difference in a close one on the road.

Pick: Choctaw County 24-23

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