Ten Games to Watch — Week 9

Brandon (6-2) at Meridian (6-2)

Bulldogs and Wildcats will meet at Ray Stadium in what always is a close ball game. Brandon can out themselves in very good shape of winning rugged Region 3-6A with a win. Bulldogs are led by a potent running game in Vincent Butler, Corey Proctor and Jordan Willis. Meridian is led by a passing attack that is averaging 213.9 yards a game and the Wildcats rotate quarterbacks in Eddie Brown and Tevarrius Adams. Bulldogs get revenge from last year’s loss.

Pick: Brandon 24-20


Northwest Rankin (6-2) at Clinton (7-0)

Cougars will make the short trip over to Clinton in a key Region 2-6A matchup. This could be a battle of rushing attacks. The Arrows are averaging 227.7 yards a game led by Cam Akers and Southern Miss commit Darius Maberry, while Northwest Rankin is averaging 200.1 yards and is led by Braden Smith and Cameron Carroll. Cam and company are just too hard to stop.

Pick: Clinton 31-20


South Panola (4-4) at Tupelo (7-0)

Tigers are back .500 and are rolling since they’ve started division play. South Panola will head to Tupelo in a battle for sole possession of first in Region 1-6A. South Panola is led by rushing attack that averages 184.1 yards a game and is led by Patrick Shegog, Jamichael Robinson and Jamian Johnson. The Golden Wave as well is led by rushing attack that averages 238 yards a game and is led by Jaquerrious Williams. Tupelo’s defense only allows 12 points a game. Golden Wave has only beaten South Panola twice in this millennium (2001 and 2013). They will make it three.

Pick: Tupelo 24-23


Starkville (5-2) at Madison Central (4-3-1)

Yellowjackets will come to down to face the Jaguars in a crucial Region 2-6A matchup. Madison Central is coming a big win over Warren Central, while Starkville rebounded by taking their frustrations out on Greenville. Jaguars are led by a balanced on offense and is led by FAU commit Jack Walker. Starkville is led by a running game that averages 165.9 yards a game and leans on a defense that only gives up 13.9 points per game. It’ll be a defensive struggle, but Jags are tough to beat in the Jungle.

Pick: Madison Central 19-13


West Point (6-1) at Lake Cormorant (5-3)

Green Wave will make the trip up to DeSoto County to face the Gators in battle of 3-0 teams in Region 1-5A. Lake Cormorant to has rolled off three straight wins and are led by Iowa commit Brandon Smith (885 yards receiving, 10 touchdowns). West Point is led by a fierce rushing attack that averages 179.8 yards a game and a defense that only allows 13 points a game. Green Wave ground attack just too hard to stop.

Pick: West Point 28-15


Laurel (6-1) at Brookhaven (5-2)

Laurel will make the trip west along Hwy 84 to Brookhaven to face the Panthers. The Tornadoes have one of the state’s most explosive offenses led by quarterback Tyquan Ulmer (1,412 yards passing, 18 touchdowns) and wide receiver Dontario Drummond (668 yards receiving, eight touchdowns). Brookhaven will look to control the clock with its ground game that averages 256.8 yards a game and is led by Kenneth Dixon. Tornadoes spoil the Panthers homecoming.

Pick: Laurel 31-21


Noxubee County (4-4) at Louisville (4-4), Thursday

A huge Region 4-4A matchup when the Tigers will face rival Louisville in the Toothpick Bowl. Both teams are 2-0 in region play and a win could for either team could inch them close to hosting a first round 4A playoff game. Noxubee is averaging 220.3 yards passing behind sophomore Maliek Stallings and MSU commit Kymbotric Mason. Louisville is led by a defense that has only given up 26 points total over the last three games. Tigers have too much fire power on offense.

Pick: Noxubee County 27-15


Presbyterian Christian (8-0) at Jackson Prep (8-0)

Bobcats will make the trip up to Flowood to face the Patriots in MAIS battle of undefeated teams. Expect a ton of rushing attempts in this one. Both teams are led by stellar running games. Prep is led by the dynamic duo in Jerrian Ealy and Jacob Crawley, while PCS leans heavily on Isaiah Woullard who will go down as one of the state’s career rushing leaders. Patriots are to beat at home.

Pick: Jackson Prep 35-21


MRA (6-3) at Jackson Academy (5-3)

Two juggernauts of the MAIS’ highest classification will go head to head at the Brickyard when the Patriots will make the short trip over to face the Raiders. MRA is led by an offense that is averaging 34.7 a game and is led by quarterback Hunter Hulsey and running back Jake Reeves. JA is averaging 24.5 points per game is led by the duo of quarterback Noah Thigpen and receiver Langston Anderson. Patriots make it three in a row over rival.

Pick: MRA 20-17


Canton Academy (8-0) at Tri-County Academy (8-0)

This one will be a battle of two rushing attacks and two teams that have two outstanding defenses when the Panthers head over to Flora face rival Tri-County. Panthers are averaging 251.3 yards a game rushing led by Keyshawn Clanton and its defense that has only given up 49 points the whole season (6.1 points a game). Rebels are led by do-it-all ATH Swayze Bozeman and its defense only gives up 12.5 points per game. Canton Academy won the regular season matchup, while TCA won in the semifinal rematch last season. It’ll be a defensive battle, but going with the home team.

Pick: Tri-County 14-13