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Handful of key games on tap

By By Austin Bishop/The Meridian Star
Nov. 2, 2001
Several area high school football teams are playing important games tonight that will determine where they are seeded in the playoffs or if they will make it or not.
Meridian High School and Lamar School are both in must-win situations, while West Lauderdale, Newton High School, Heidelberg Academy and Wayne Academy would like to win in order to get the upper hand.
In order for Meridian High School to earn the No. 4 spot in Region 2-5A and to qualify for the Class 5A State Playoffs, the Wildcats must beat homestanding Oak Grove on Friday night, then knock off visiting Hattiesburg on Nov. 9.
Lamar is playing for the MPSA 3-3A title when the play host to arch-rival Manchester Academy tonight at 7:30 at Grey Cobb.
If the 3-6 Raiders win, they will be the division champions. If they lose, they could possibly be in a three-way tie for first (if Central Hinds beats Copiah on Friday night). It would then come down to a tie-breaker format that does not favor Lamar's chances.
Heidelberg and Wayne traditional Class A rivals once again hook up to determine the South Central Academy A title. The game is set for Heidelberg Academy.
Both teams will advance to the playoffs, but the winner would have home field advantage. Both HA and WA have won their fare share of state titles over the years.
Newton and Scott Central are both 4-0 in Region 5-2A play, while the Tigers are 7-2 overall and the Rebels are 5-4. Newton's only losses are to powerhouses Newton County and Ackerman, who have combined for just one loss.
The winner is the region champion, while the loser will host a first-round game as the No. 2 seed in the region.
While West Lauderdale and Carthage are both assured of playoff spots, the winner of that game will be the No. 3 seed in Region 5-3A and the No. 4 seed will be the loser.
Austin Bishop is the sports director of the Community Newspapers East Group and oversees the Meridian Star.

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