Another great week of high school football is in the books and I had another stellar week of picking if I may say so myself. I went 4-1 for the second consecutive week in my top five games missing on West Point and Starkville. Aeris Williams dominated again for the Green Wave as they got their first win of the year and showed they will be a force in 5A. Another great group of games again this week and here are my top five as well as my record last week and where I am in the first 15 games I've picked.
Last Week's Record: 4-1
Season Record 10-5
Game of the Week: Petal vs. Madison Central: Madison Central dropped the opening game of the year in a heartbreaker against my top team, Brandon. They've bounced back nicely with back-to-back wins including beating one of the top teams in Louisiana last week in overtime. Petal has one of the top offenses in the state led by Dandy Dozen wide receiver Jesse Jackson. If MC can put a stop to this offensive threat they have a great chance at getting the upset over #4 Petal. Another big game in the state, this one shouldn't disappoint. Petal
Oxford vs. Lafayette: Oxford has come out with a fast start dismantling Cleveland this past weekend, beating defending 5A champions Starkville the week before and MAIS powerhouse Jackson Prep in week one. This is a bitter rivalry between teams in the same county and will be a solid ball game throughout. At this point, Oxford is one of the teams to beat in 5A and I don't think that changes this week as the Chargers continue to roll. Oxford
South Panola vs. North Little Rock (Ark.): These games are always fun to see where teams in Mississippi stack up against the rest. Lance Pogue and the Tigers schedule at least one of these every year and there have been mixed results here. Last season, the Tigers were embarrassed on National Television against the Hoover Buccaneers in Alabama. This is a big game for the Tigers to continue to carry Mississippi's flag against a solid Little Rock team. South Panola
Philadelphia vs. Louisville: This is an old-school rivalry renewed as Louisville moves back into the 3A ranks and takes on the Tornadoes of Philadelphia. Bad news for the 'Nadoes is they don't have Marcus Dupree in the backfield and Louisville might have faced their last huge test of the season with a decisive victory over rival and defending 4A champs, Noxubee County. This will be a good game in the first quarter but Louisville stays undefeated here. Louisville
Jackson Academy at Heritage: JA has taken over the MAIS this season with a perfect 3-0 record and coming off a loss in the State Championship last year snapping three-straight Championships with a loss to rival Jackson Prep. Heritages is coming off of a 3A State Championship of their own and are primed to repeat again this year. They've started 3-0 for the first time since 2009 and this will be their first real test of the season. I expect it to be a great game but JA might have the athletes that will be too much to handle. Jackson Academy
Player(s) of the Week: Several of the state's top playmakers had a big week this week but one player really did some work in the passing game. Kirk McCarty from Oak Grove (a member of our top five) got the job done against Pearl River Central on Friday. The senior zipped the ball for 467 yards on 26-34 passing with four touchdowns in the 35-20 win. In Mississippi, it's rare to see a quarterback climb around 500 yards. It's common to look across the numbers in the state and see 200-yard rushers but this is fun to see.
Now let's take a look at this week's top 25 for the state of Mississippi. There's a little movement here and there, but the top three teams stay the same.
Top 25: 1. Brandon (3-0) 2. South Panola (3-0) 3. Olive Branch (3-0) 4. Petal (3-0) 5. Oak Grove (2-0) 6. Madison Central (2-1) 7. Oxford (3-0) 8. West Point (1-1) 9. Louisville (3-0) 10. Bassfield (3-0) 11. Pascagoula (3-0) 12. Meridian (2-1) 13. Wayne County (1-1) 14. Picayune (1-1) 15. Hazlehurst (3-0) 16. Tupelo (3-0) 17. Callaway (3-0) 18. Starkville (1-2) 19. Noxubee County (1-2) 20. Gulfport (1-1) 21. Greene County (2-1) 22. Biloxi (2-0) 23. Laurel (3-0) 24. Jackson Academy (3-0) 25. Philadelphia (3-0)