Ten Games to Watch — Week 8

Brandon defensive back SchDarren Archie.

Petal (4-2) at Brandon (5-2)

Panthers will make the little over an hour trip up to Louis Gene Strickland Field to face the Bulldogs in a huge battle of 2-0 teams in rugged Region 3-6A. The winner of this one will be the driver’s seat at the top of the division, while the loser will be battling for the No. 2 seed the rest of the year heading into the 6A playoffs. Brandon is led by a rushing attack of Vincent Butler and Corey Proctor. Petal has a potent rushing attack with Tulane commit Stephon Huderson, Xavier Yancey and Tanner Estill. Dogs too tough to beat at home.

Pick: Brandon 24-21


Madison Central (3-3-1) at Warren Central (6-0)

Jags will make the trip over to Hwy 27 to face the Vikings in a huge Region 2-6A matchup. Madison Central is fighting for the No. 2 seed and a home playoff game and win will inch them closer to that. Warren Central is off to a hot start behind a stingy defense and a rushing attack led by quarterback Jesse Wilson. Vikings continue hot streak.

Pick: Warren Central 21-17


Meridian (5-2) at Oak Grove (3-4)

Each team badly needs a win this one. The winner will keep its playoff hopes alive in Region 3-6A, while the loser will be 1-2 and will be fighting for its playoff hopes the rest of the season and will need some help to go along with it. Wildcats and Warriors will bring potent passing attacks, so it will come down to which defense can get stops. Meridian’s defense led by USM commit Santrell Lantrell get the job done.

Pick: Meridian 27-20


Northwest Rankin (5-2) at Callaway (5-2)

Cougars and Chargers will battle on who can keep its playoff hope alive on Thursday night at Newell Field in Jackson. Northwest Rankin is coming a big statement win over Starkville last week for its first win in Region 2-6A, while Callaway is hoping to avoid a 0-3 start in division play. Cougars are led by the rushing attack of Braden Smith and Cameron Carroll, while Callaway is led by MSU commits Malik Heath and Aaron Odom.  Cougar rushing attack is just too much.

Pick: NW Rankin 35-20


D’Iberville (4-2) at George County (3-3)

The Rebels and Warriors are both coming off big road wins in region play last week and will now meet in Lucedale in a big Region 4-6A matchup. It will also be a game of two different styles of offenses. George County is averaging 428.2 yards a game passing and quarterback LaRaymond Spivery (2,061 yards, 14 touchdowns) and Ole Miss commit Tyrese Fryfogle (671 yards, five touchdowns). D’Iberville has a potent rushing attack and is averaging 309.2 yards rushing and is led by Micah Booker and Ja’Quavis Foster. The Rebel offense is just too hard to slow down.

Pick: George County 35-28


Hattiesburg (5-2) at Picayune (6-0)

Last year’s game between the Tigers and Maroon Tide was entertaining and this year’s matchup will be no different. Hattiesburg as one of the state’s most potent offenses in JSU commit Julian Conner, Tennessee commit Jordan Murphy and one of the state’s top juniors in Fabian Franklin. Picayune has a rushing attack that averages 356.7 yards a game and is a led by Josh Littles. The Tide’s offense likes to take control of the clock and it works.

Pick: Picayune 28-27


Brookhaven (4-2) at Provine (5-2)

Panthers will make the trip up I-55 to face the Rams in a huge Region 3-5A battle that’ll take place Thursday night at Hughes Field. Both teams will bring heavy rushing attacks. Brookhaven is averaging 256.8 yards a game on the ground, while Provine is averaging just over 200 yards a game. Brookhaven’s Damarrell Leggett is one to watch and can make a difference.

Pick: Brookhaven 21-12


Pontotoc (7-0) at Amory (5-2)

Both Amory and Pontotoc have been some big surprises this year in 4A. The Warriors will make the trip over to face the Panthers in a big Region 1-4A game to see who moves on to 2-0 in region play. Amory is very balanced on offense led by quarterback Zatorious Gates, whose thrown for 1,133 yards with eight touchdowns. Pontotoc is led by a defense that only gives 14.7 points a game and has a running game that is averaging 226 yards a game and is led by Gabe Harmon (852 yards, 10 touchdowns). The Warrior running game and defense gets job done on the road.

Pick: Pontotoc 20-14


North Panola (7-0) at Charleston (5-2)

Cougars will take its undefeated recorded on the road to face the Tigers in a big Region 2-3A matchup. The winner of this game will more than likely be the region champ, while te loser will be the No. 2 seed in the playoffs. Charleston has represented the North the last the two years in the 3A state championship game, can the Cougars take a step in ending that? North Panola is led by sophomore quarterback Kenneth Jefferson, whose thrown for 1,244 yards with 17 touchdowns. The Charleston potent run game is averaging 221.4 yards a game and is led by Billy Kimble. Charleston’s defense just too much.

Pick: Charleston 19-13


Stringer (5-2) at Resurrection (5-1)

Red Devils and Eagles will go head to head in a battle of what could decide the region champion out of Region 4-1A. Resurrection will lean on the potent ground game which is averaging 236.7 yards per game and is led by Patrick Watts (670 yards, 10 touchdowns). Stringer also leans on a rushing attack that is averaging 174.1 yards a game and is led by sophomore Anthony Thomas (637 yards, five touchdowns). Eagles make a closer step of repeating as Region 4-1A champs.

Pick Resurrection 30-20