Clinton (4-0) at Madison Central (2-2-1)
One of the biggest rivals in the state will go head to head in The Jungle in each teams Region 2-6A opener. Clinton was idle last week, while Madison Central ended its game with West Monroe (La.) in a tie. Madison Central’s offense is led by FAU commit Jack Walker and Braden Boykin. Can the Jaguar defense slow down the explosive Cam Akers and company? We shall see. Arrows make it three in a row over rival.
Pick: Clinton 35-28
Northwest Rankin (4-1) at Warren Central (4-0)
Cougars and Vikings will meet in a very intriguing Region 2-6A opener. Warren Central had the week off last week, while Northwest Rankin suffered its first loss of the season in overtime to Brandon. This will be a battle of dual-threat quarterbacks between Warren Central’s Jesse Wilson and Northwest Rankin’s Braden Smith and will come down to which defense can make stops. Vikings get it done at home.
Pick: Warren Central 24-20
Oxford (2-2) at West Point (3-1)
Usually the winner of this game will be the top seed heading into the 5A playoffs out of Region 1-5A. That will be the same case this year when the Chargers make the trip to play the Green Wave. Key to this game will be can the Oxford defense stop the potent West Point rushing attack? We shall see about that. Oxford is developing a potent passing game with QB John Reece McClure and receivers Dede Pegues and Barry Flowers. Wave rushing attack just too much.
Pick: West Point 27-20
Petal (2-2) at Pearl (2-2)
Panthers and Pirates will be meet in a Region 3-6A opener at Ray Rogers Stadium in a pivotal game for both teams. A win for either can see who makes the playoffs and the loser will most likely be left out. The key to this one will can Pearl stop the run option offense for Petal. Panthers have Tanner Estill, Stephon Huderson and Xavier Yancey that lead the running game. Johnny Winston leads the way offensively for Pearl. Petal spoils homecoming for Pirates.
Pick: Petal 31-20
Hernando (4-0) at Tupelo (4-0)
Tigers will have its first true road test this week when the trip down Hwy 78 to face the Golden Wave in a battle of undefeated teams and in each teams’ Region 1-6A opener. Hernando brings a very balanced offensive attack led by quarterback Robert Wilcke who has passed for 349 yards with five touchdowns. Tupelo leans on a rushing attack that averages 249.8 yards a game and is led by promising sophomore Jaquerrious Williams (452 yards, three touchdowns). Tupelo tough to beat at home.
Pick: Tupelo 17-14
Callaway (5-0) at Starkville (4-1)
If there is one team that is undefeated and that no one is talking about it is Callaway. The Chargers have taken care of business the first five weeks, but will have its first test of the season when it travels to Starkville in its Region 2-6A opener. Offensively, Lakenith Thompson has rushed for 10 touchdowns for the Chargers. MSU commits Malik Heath and Aaron Odom anchor the Callaway defense. Starkville might be without starting quarterback Malik Brown this week with a knee injury so Ben Owens could be the starter at QB. Ole Miss commit Willie Gay anchors a stingy Jacket defense. Starkville’s running game a little too much.
Pick: Starkville 21-13
Charleston (4-1) at Lafayette (2-2)
Lafayette has appeared to have turned things around over the last two weeks after starting the season 0-2, but will get a very tough test by 3A contender Charleston this week. The Commodores, like always, leans on a potent rushing attack led by Jamarcus Quarles (766 yards, four touchdowns). Tigers average 206.4 yards a game rushing and have a dynamic duo in the backfield in Billy Kimble and Tre Truly. Lafayette gets it done at home.
Pick: Lafayette 14-12
Raleigh (5-0) at Bay Springs (4-1)
Bulldogs and Lions will meet in a clash of rivals located by just 11 miles. Raleigh leans on a heavy running game that averages 429.5 yards a game led by Kris Moncrief (673 yards, 11 touchdowns). Bay Springs also has a potent rushing attack that averages 260.2 yards a game and is led by the duo of Jaylin Jones (691 yards, 9 touchdowns) and Damerious Jones (226 yards, 4 touchdowns). Too much Moncrief.
Pick: Raleigh 21-20
Madison St. Joe (5-0) at Union (5-0)
Yellowjackets and Bruins will meet in a battle of 2A unbeaten. Over the last year few years this game has been a tight one, last year Union won 14-7. Union is led by a very balanced offense with QB Tradarius Harris, WR Donavan Hickman and RB Jarriat Hunter. Madison St. Joe is led by a rushing attack that is averaging 255.2 yards a game and Nick Louvier has rushed for 904 yards with nine touchdowns. Jackets in a close one at home.
Pick: Union 27-24
MRA (4-2) at Presbyterian Christian (5-0)
Could this be the year PCS gets past on of the big time programs in the MAIS? We shall see, but the Bobcats have the weapons to pull off the upset and have one of the state’s top running backs in Isaiah Woullard (882 yards, 9 touchdowns). MRA has a potent offense in itself led by Hunter Hulsey and Jake Reeves. Bobcats get job done at home.
Pick: PCS 31-27