The high school playoffs are in full swing this weekend as all classifications in both associations feature big games. Here are ten of the biggest games to keep an eye on Friday night.
WEEK 13 TEN GAMES TO WATCH
Madison Central (7-5) at South Panola (11-0)
Jaguars will meet the Tigers in the first round of the Class 6A playoffs. South Panola defeated Madison Central 24-6 back in Week 4. Tigers have been rolling to say the least and own the state’s longest active winning streak at 26 games. Madison Central had to win its last three games to make it into the playoffs. Tigers make it 27 in a row.
Pick: South Panola 24-13
Meridian (6-5) at Gulfport (9-2)
If there is a No. 4 seed that beats a No. 1 seed, this game has that potential with two very good teams. The Wildcats have five D-I bound players and are led by Daniel Crowell and Vanderbilt commit Zaire Jones. Gulfport has a potent rushing attack led by Deon Cole. Cats get it done on the road in a close one.
Pick: Meridian 21-18
Ocean Springs (8-3) at Oak Grove (9-2)
The Greyhounds and Warriors will meet in the first round in a rematch of last year’s second round matchup that saw Oak Grove winning convincingly 42-13. Ocean Springs comes into the playoffs after back-to-back losses, while the Warriors have confidence heading into the postseason. Warriors get it done at home.
Pick: Oak Grove 21-20
Hattiesburg (8-4) at Laurel (8-3)
Surely no one has forgotten what happened the last time these two teams met? If you have, here is a refresher. Laurel was up 32-6 with four minutes left in the game and Hattiesburg scored four touchdowns in a 3 minute and 19 second span to stun the Tornadoes 34-32 at home. Laurel definitely has revenge on its mind and will protect the lead this time.
Pick: Laurel 24-20
Lafayette (10-2) at Noxubee County (8-4)
Many thought the Tigers and Commodores would meet for the Class 4A North State championship. But instead they will meet in the second round in what could be a classic. Lafayette is led by a potent rushing attack led by Tyrell Price, but can it have success against a fierce Noxubee defense led by Jeffrey Simmons? The Tiger defense just too tough.
Pick: Noxubee County 13-12
Kosciusko (9-2) at Senatobia (10-1)
Quietly the Whippets and Warriors are having very successful seasons. Senatobia is off to its best start since 2006 (the year they won the 3A state championship). Kosciusko is led by quarterback Josh Dobb, while Senatobia is led by running back Maurice Toney (10 rushing touchdowns).
Pick: Senatobia 21-17
North Pontotoc (9-3) at Charleston (10-2)
The Vikings and Tigers will battle in the second round of the Class 3A playoffs. North Pontotoc is led by running back Zay Cullens (2,150 yards, 33 touchdowns), while Charleston is led by Ahmad Alexander. The Tiger defense is only giving up 12 points a game. Charleston at home.
Pick: Charleston 31-21
West Marion (11-1) at Raleigh (10-2)
There will be plenty of rushing attempts in this one as the Trojans and the Lions will meet in the second round of the Class 3A playoffs. Josh Miller and Caleb Batie will anchor the rushing attack for West Marion, while Raleigh is led by Kris Moncrief and Sam Edwards. Trojans defense makes one crucial stop.
Pick: West Marion 35-31
Amite County (9-2) at Bay Springs (10-2)
The Trojans and Bulldogs will meet in the second round of the Class 2A playoffs in what could be a high scoring affair. Do-it-all quarterback Quavonte Adams has accounted for 23 touchdowns to lead Amite County, while Bay Springs is led by running back Jaylin Jones (1,575 rushing yards, 20 touchdowns). Dogs in a shootout at home.
Pick: Bay Springs 40-35
Tri-County Academy (10-2) at Canton Academy (9-3)
The Panthers and Rebels will meet in the semifinals of the MAIS Class AA playoffs. The Panthers ran all over the Rebels 42-14 four weeks ago in the regular season. Canton Academy is led by do-it-all athlete Gerrod Anderson, while Tri-County leans on running back Swayze Bozeman. Panthers get it done at home.
Pick: Canton Academy 27-21