Friday night offers plenty of good prep football action
By By Marty Stamper / EMG sports assistant
Sept. 5, 2003
Wayne County continues its rugged start to the 2003 football season when the War Eagles host Madison Central tonight in Waynesboro. Both teams enter the contest with 1-0 records.
The War Eagles opened with a 13-0 victory at Columbus last week. Madison Central, hoping to rebound from a dismal 5-6 showing in 2002 that saw the Jaguars miss the playoffs for the first time since 1993, crushed Mendenhall 49-6 last week.
When it comes to county rivalries, Northeast Lauderdale, 0-1, and Southeast Lauderdale, 0-1, will be glad to whip up on each other tonight in Vimville. Northeast has won the last three meetings to take a 22-20 lead in the series which dates back to 1962.
Perhaps it's because Southeast hasn't had a winning season since 1997 and Northeast hasn't gone over .500 since 1990 that these two get after each other so hard. It has often been the winner's season highlight. The last two games were both decided by a touchdown.
Meridian, 0-1, travels to Starkville, 0-1, in a battle of Class 5A teams. While an 0-2 start isn't necessarily cause to throw in the towel on the 2003 season, tonight's winner will have a much better chance at gathering momentum for the upcoming region schedule than the loser.
Louisville, 1-0, visits Noxubee County, 0-1, seeking to reclaim its superiority in the series between former Choctaw Conference and division rivals.
Neshoba Central, 0-1, hosts Forest, 1-0, for the 20th meeting in that series. Forest comes in with a 13-6 advantage. With Philadelphia, Louisville, and Pearl supplying the competition for Neshoba over the next three weeks, the Rockets can ill afford a loss to the Bearcats.
Also in Class 4A action, Quitman, 1-0, travels to South Jones, 0-1.
West Lauderdale, 1-0, looks to knock off Philadelphia, 1-0, for the first time when the Knights visit legendary Harpole Stadium. The Tornadoes lead the series 6-0.
In their last meeting at Philadelphia, the Tornadoes took a 39-32 shootout that saw West's Carlessio Blanks and Philadelphia's Kenshay Hunter both have around 300 yards by the end of the third quarter. Then a heavy downpour hit, slowing both teams down considerably.
The 2-0 Lamar Raiders see if they're ready for the big time when they travel to Jackson Prep, 0-1. Prep lost 21-16 to the traditionally-strong Memphis University School Owls last week, giving up a pair of early touchdown passes to J.D. Lawhorn.
Last time we checked, Lamar can throw and catch the ball too.
The Academy 3-A league has several games of interest. The outcome of the Newton County Academy-Kemper Academy contest will be heard as far away as Moscow… that's the tiny Kemper County community of Moscow which is on the backwoods shortcut from Decatur to DeKalb.
Another key game has Sylva-Bay Academy, 2-0, paying a call on Wayne Academy, 0-2. Wayne, however, has played a much tougher schedule.
Defending Academy Class A state champion Heidelberg Academy, 0-2, looks to find the win column when the Rebels host Central Academy, 1-1.
Winston Academy, 1-1, hosts Tri-County Academy, 2-0, in a battle of small schools at Louisville.
Leake Academy looks to up its record to 3-0 when the Rebels host Manchester Academy, 1-1, in Madden. The game is an Academy 2-AA matchup. Manchester was picked second in the conference in the coaches' preseason poll.
In other area games, Choctaw Central, 0-1, goes to Kemper County, 0-1; Lake, 0-1, goes to Raleigh, 1-0; Newton, 0-1, heads up Highway 15 to take on Ackerman, 1-0; Nanih Waiya, 0-1, hosts Sebastopol, 0-1; Noxapater, 1-0, hosts Scott Central, 1-0; and Union 0-1, goes to South Leake, 0-0.
One of the state's oldest rivalries continues at Laurel when the Golden Tornadoes, 0-1, take on Hattiesburg, 0-1, in the 82nd Battle for the Little Brown Jug. Laurel holds a 42-35-4 series edge.