COLUMN: Big picks for big night of prep football

By By Marty Stamper / staff writer
Oct. 22, 2004
The week many have waited for all football season is finally here. Whether it's Class 4A or Class 1A, there are some mighty big games on tap for tonight.
Last week's picks produced 10 hits and three misses (Southeast Lauderdale at Morton, Kemper County at Lake and Wayne Academy at Newton County Academy). For the year, that's 78 hits, 17 misses, and one tie for an 81.8 percentage.
On to tonight's menu.
Wayne County vs.
West Jones
The game of the week in Mississippi and maybe the game of the year as well is set for tonight at Ellisville when unbeaten Class 4A powers Wayne County and West Jones meet at Jones Junior College with a crowd of 10,000 expected.
The two met twice last year with each getting a win. The War Eagles of Wayne have won three of the last five meetings.
The pick: Wayne County
Union at Scott Central
On the small-school level, Union goes to the Forest suburb of Harperville to take on Scott Central in a battle of unbeaten Class 1A teams.
The series is even at 6-6 after Union knocked off the top-ranked Rebels 21-12 last year. Neither team has had much difficulty beating up on the rest of Region 3-1A. The loser will have to deal with Mize early in the playoffs.
The pick: Union
MRA at Lamar
This is a rematch of last year's Class AAA small school state championship, which Lamar won in a 48-7 blowout.
This year, the teams have faced common opponents in Jackson Academy, Presbyterian Christian, Simpson Academy, Central Private and Parklane Academy with none of those games providing a clear-cut favorite for tonight.
MRA is concerned over Lamar's passing game, and it will have to produce for the Raiders to win. These two will likely meet for the state championship in their class again.
The pick: Lamar
Meridian at Brandon
While the Wildcats should be a clear-cut pick over the Bulldogs, their nine previous trips to Brandon since 1987 have produced only four Meridian wins to go with five for the Dogs. Overall, since 1987, Meridian has an 11-7 series lead.
Can the Cats reverse their Rankin County misfortunes?
The pick: Meridian
Kosciusko at
Neshoba Central
Neshoba needs to win out to have any shot at a playoff berth. Kosciusko needs a win to have a shot at winning Division 4-4A.
Whippet quarterback Chris Herron can and will throw long and often, and anyone who has followed the Rockets this year knows that's not good.
The pick: Kosciusko
Northeast Lauderdale at
Mendenhall
The Trojans are trying to bounce back from last week's 45-20 whipping at Neshoba Central. Mendenhall gave Wayne County a very good game last week before losing 12-0 at Waynesboro.
The pick: Mendenhall
Quitman at Northeast Jones
The Panthers also gave West Jones a good game last week before losing 21-7. This should be a good game to watch.
The pick: Northeast Jones
Choctaw Central at Forest
Forest is undefeated, while Choctaw Central is winless. Enough said.
The pick: Forest
Southeast Lauderdale at Newton County
Southeast shocked Morton 24-21 on the Panthers' homecoming last week to stay in the playoff picture. Newton County needs a win either tonight or next week to wrap up second place in Division 5-3A.
The pick: Newton County
Morton at West Lauderdale
Morton blew a great shot at the playoffs with last week's loss to Southeast Lauderdale and now is needing wins over West Lauderdale tonight and Forest next week.
The pick: West Lauderdale
Lake at Newton
Lake got its first win of the season last week beating Kemper County 21-6. Winless coming into the game, Hornets head coach Ed Amis decided to play 11 players on offense and a different 11 on defense and the depth paid off.
Newton didn't need any depth last week as the Tigers played less than four minutes in beating Williams-Sullivan 13-0 when a transformer blew and the Durant folks decided to go ahead and forfeit when it couldn't be repaired any time soon.
The pick: Newton
Williams-Sullivan at Philadelphia
The Tornadoes own the Yellowjackets having won all previous 13 games with such scores as 50-0 in 1986, 63-22 in 1993, 63-8 in 1994, 64-0 in 1996, 56-0 in 1997 and 70-14 in 1999.
You guessed it. A cake and ice cream homecoming special for the Tornadoes tonight at Harpole Stadium.
The pick: Philadelphia
Newton County Academy at Calhoun Academy
The Generals flopped in last week's 39-12 MPSA 5-A title game loss to Wayne Academy. Look for them to bounce back with the winless Cougars paying the price.
The pick: Newton County Academy

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