Starkville (3-0) at South Panola (3-0)
No. 1 Starkville travels to Batesville to face No. 3 South Panola in the Region 2-6A opener for both teams in a Top 10 showdown. Starkville will lean on quarterback and Florida State commit Luke Altmyer along with running back and Mississippi State commit Amariyon Howard to lead the offense. South Panola is averaging 284 yards per game on the ground with quarterback Anterrio Draper and running backs D’Mariun Perteet and Martez Clark leading the way. Receiver and Memphis commit Cameron Wright is one to watch for the Tigers. This will be a close game but the Starkville defense, led by Keyshawn Lawrence, comes up big on the road.
Pick: Starkville 28-24
Germantown (3-0) at Warren Central (3-0)
Germantown takes on No. 8 Warren Central in their Region 2-6A opener battle of unbeaten teams. Warren Central is coming off a thrilling overtime win over Pearl last week and is averaging 173 yards per game led by quarterback Kentrick Thompson and running back Timothy Thompson. Germantown has been cruising early on, averaging 309 yards anchored by quarterback Colton Gardner and promising junior running back Branson Robinson along with Nick Barnes and Trey McCullough. The Maverick defense could be a factor has they’ve recorded 13 sacks through the first three games. The Vikings have recorded seven sacks through their first three games. This game will be close and is a toss-up but I’m going with the home team.
Pick: Warren Central 24-21
Clinton (1-1) at Madison Central (2-1)
Clinton heads to The Jungle to face Madison Central in a region battle of metro area rivals meeting for the 29th time. Clinton had an off week last week, while Madison Central is coming off a loss to Brandon that was haunted by turnovers and penalties. Clinton quarterback Caleb Miller along with running backs Montavious Warren and Jeremy Mack will lead the rushing attack that averages 135 yards per game. Madison Central will also be led by a rushing attack that averages 197.3 yards per game led by quarterback Tate Collins along with running backs Duke Arnold and Ross Highfill. Both teams need to get off to a fast start in rugged Region 2-6A play and time of possession will be a key stat in this game. Jags bounce back at home and claim fourth straight win over the Arrows.
Pick: Madison Central 28-17
Biloxi (2-0) at D’Iberville (2-0)
Biloxi faces D’Iberville in a Region 4-6A opener battle of 2-0 teams. The Warriors are more balanced on offense this season averaging 253.5 yards per game rushing and 144.5 yards passing. Quarterback Dwight Williams and Minnesota commit and wide receiver Justin Walley are the top playmakers. Justice Davis is also one to watch. Biloxi is averaging 149.5 yards per game rushing and 134.5 yards passing led by quarterback Deljay Bailey along with running back K.K. Kendrick and receiver Deon Hardin. The Indian defense has yet to allow a touchdown this season, but the Warrior offense comes up big late at home.
Pick: D’Iberville 30-27
Lafayette (2-1) at West Point (2-1)
This will be the 10th all-time meeting between Lafayette and No. 4 West Point and all games but three have been decided by seven points or less. The Green Wave are led by an always potent ground game that is averaging 290.3 yards per game and also 125 yards passing. Quarterback Corbin Kelly and running backs Chris Ivy and Cameron Young provide much of the offense. Lafayette, ranked No. 5 in 5A, likes to run the ball as well averaging 294.7 yards per game with running backs Tyrus Carmichael-Williams, Trikyus Woodall and Jayden Reed. The Commodores do average 151 yards through the air with Kylen Vaughn being the top target. The always stingy Green Wave is the difference at home.
Pick: West Point 17-14
Holmes County Central (1-1) at Neshoba Central (3-0)
The Jaguars head down to Philadelphia to face the sixth-ranked Rockets in the Region 2-5A opener for both teams. This one will be another battle of run heavy teams and two really good defenses. The Rockets are averaging 272.7 yards per game on the ground led by quarterback Eli Anderson and running back Jarquez Hunter. They are throwing more on offense to become more balanced averaging 116.7 yards through the air with Dagan Martin and Bryceton Spencer being the top receivers. The Jaguars are averaging 217.5 yards per game on the ground led by quarterback Levi Wyatt and running back Jerell Boyd. Holmes County Central defensive tackle Jeremiah Williams and defensive back Khamauri Rogers are ones to keep an eye on. The Rocket defense, anchored by defensive tackle Braxton Woodard and Hunter, are the difference at home in a close one.
Pick: Neshoba Central 21-18
East Central (3-0) at Picayune (3-0)
The Hornets make the trip up to Lee-Triplett Stadium to face the seventh-ranked Maroon Tide in the Region 4-5A opener battle of undefeated teams that love to run the ball. Picayune, also ranked No. 4 in 5A, is again this year wearing out teams on the ground. Quarterback Isaac Hickmon and running backs Austin Samples, Dante Dowdell and I’Dorian Robinson have been impressive to lead the ground attack that averages 357 yards per game. East Central is averaging 211 yards per game rushing anchored by quarterback Deuce Hugger along with running backs Eli Smith and Sam Walls. Tide gets the job done at home.
Pick: Picayune 31-20
Jackson Prep (4-0) at Taylorsville (2-0)
This is a game a lot of people have been waiting on as the Patriots head down to Taylorsville to face the Tartars in a key Little 10 MHSAA/MAIS matchup. Prep won 28-0 over Taylorsville in Flowood last year. The Patriots, ranked No. 4 in the Little 10 and No. 2 in MAIS Class 6A, is a led by rushing attack that averages 152 yards per game led by quarterback Riley Maddox and running back Matt Jones. Receivers Thaxton Berch and Jeffrey Ince lead the passing game that averages 119.3 yards per game. Once again Taylorsville is led by a potent passing attack that averages 314.5 yards per game anchored by quarterback and Tulane commit Ty Keyes along with receivers Tyrese Keys, Cedrick Beavers and Arteriousa Miller. Running backs Travis Keyes and Jeffrey Pittman led a rushing attack that is averaging 214.5 yards per game. This game is a toss up, but the Patriot defense comes up big late on the road,
Pick: Jackson Prep 21-20
MRA (4-0) at Corinth (2-1)
This game was scheduled last week as MRA travels to Corinth to face the Warriors in a huge battle of defending state champions in the MHSAA and MAIS. MRA, ranked No. 1 in the Little 10 and No. 1 in MAIS Class 6A is the defending MAIS Class 6A state champion, is led by a very balanced offense that is averaging 210.3 yards rushing per game led by running back and Navy commit Rayf Vinson and Tylor Latham. Quarterback Zach Beasley and receiver Davis Dalton lead the passing attack that averages 139.7 yards per game. Promising four-star junior linebacker Stone Blanton leads the MRA defense. Corinth, ranked No. 1 in MHSAA Class 4A and defending 4A state champions, is anchored by quarterback Brawner Cregeen along with running backs Cayden Betts and Nazarius Jones. This game will be close, but the Patriots get a big defensive stop late.
Pick: MRA 31-27
East Webster (2-1) at Union (2-1)
East Webster faces Union in an early battle of 2A teams. East Webster is coming off a win over East Union last week, while Union suffered their first loss to rival Newton County. The Yellowjackets are led by quarterback Kenyon Clay and also receivers Jamarcus Jones and Jaheim Gill. The Wolverines are balanced, averaging 305.3 yards rushing per game and 101 yards passing. Quarterback Steven Betts is talented along with running back Zy Ford and receiver Carter Flora. Wolverines get job done on the road.
Pick: East Webster 21-16