August 28, 2017 4:43:34 PM
It appears a wet Friday night will be in order when the third week of the prep football season gets underway.
The final gusts of Hurricane Harvey are expected to drench the area on Wednesday and Thursday. Hopefully, all games can played as scheduled Friday. However, it certainly looks to be a wet track.
From an area standpoint, West Point plays host to Starkville. It is the biggest game in the area and may be the biggest game in the state, Granted, each team is in different classifications, so this has nothing to do with the race for a state championship.
Here is hoping for dry weather and a fun night of football.
What to expect from Week 3:
Starkville (2-0) at West Point (2-0)
Ah yes, finally, we have Starkville and West Point. The neighboring rivals meet Friday night at Hamblin Stadium.
In recent year, the Starkville-West Point game has failed to deliver the expected drama. There has been star power all over the field. However, one side or the other has failed to live up to the expectations.
Hopefully, this year will be different.
Starkville is 2-0 after impressive wins over Noxubee County and Oxford. The Yellow Jackets had a close one with the Chargers this past week due in large part to turnovers. You would think the Starkville attention to detail will be a wee bit higher this week.
West Point is 2-0 with victories over Columbus and Louisville. We know all about the Green Wave. Most of their star players have been star players for either two or three years. West Point won a state championship last year, but Starkville won this matchup handily.
West Point will be playing at home and looking for revenge. That is a deadly combination.
West Point 30, Starkville 20
Noxubee County (1-1) at Shannon (1-1)
Seconds after his team's 34-9 win over Columbus, Noxubee County coach Tyrone Shorter reminded his team that several people had picked Shannon to win this season's Class 4A title. Shorter told his team to approach this week's road assignment like a playoff game.
Noxubee County bounced back from a season-opening loss to rout Columbus. In the win over the Falcons, the Tigers showed how dominating their front four can speed. Noxubee County has speed up and down the defensive line. That will bode well for them this season.
Shannon has been on the short list of contenders for the 4A title. Coach Darryl Carter played at Northeast Jones so that means he knows all about championship football. After beating Corinth in the opener, Shannon was overwhelmed in a 56-14 loss at Horn Lake. The Red Raiders will want to do better.
Noxubee County started feeling good again after last week. Let's see if those good vibes continue.
Noxubee County 34, Shannon 12
Houston (1-1) at New Hope (1-1)
New Hope coach Kris Pickle had to be much happier after his team's second game (a 28-13 win over West Lauderdale) instead of the first (a 25-3 loss at Forest).
New Hope will continue to grow up throughout the season. Even though the lineup includes lots of seniors, some are new to starting and others are new to certain positions. Under Pickle, New Hope has always fielded a strong offensive outfit. No reason to think that won't continue as the season progresses.
Speaking of scoring, Houston put up 50 in its 50-41 win over Calhoun City last week. The opener was a 41-12 loss to Pontotoc. The Hilltoppers have won eight or more games in each of the past two seasons. Most of that success has been because of a dominating offense.
Look for lots of points. Look for New Hope to again feel good.
New Hope 42, Houston 26
Wayne Academy (1-1) at Heritage Academy (2-0)
Heritage Academy has started the season 2-0. Coach Sean Harrison's Patriots have done it with offense (a 46-20 win over Kirk Academy) and defense (a 3-0 win over Manchester Academy).
One could tell in the preseason, Harrison had some confidence about his second group of Patriots. When a team wins 10 games in the first season under a new coach, there is renewed optimism. A few more people pay attention to the program. It appears Heritage Academy is feeding off that energy.
Wayne Academy has opened with a 35-18 loss to South Choctaw Academy and 52-26 win over Hillcrest Christian. The Jaguars like to go up-tempo. However, depth is an issue. Heritage Academy will need to exploit that.
Don't look now but the Patriots are headed to 3-0 with even more interest in the program.
Heritage Academy 34, Wayne Academy 7
Starkville Academy (2-0) at Indianola Academy (2-0)
Rather quickly, we will find out how legitimate are the title hopes for Starkville Academy. This is a matchup between the state's top two Mississippi Association of Independent Schools (MAIS) Class AAA members.
Starkville Academy has impressed with early-season victories over Lamar School and French Camp Academy. The early story has been how well the Starkville Academy defense has played. Most expected the offense to play well. Both units will have to play well to win this one.
Indianola Academy has rolled out of the starting gates as well. The first two weeks have included a 41-14 win over Pillow Academy and a 40-28 win over St. Joseph. The Colonels are picking up steam with four of their next five at home.
It's a big challenge. We will see what Starkville Academy can topple the reigning champions.
Indianola Academy 34, Starkville Academy 24
Hamilton 18, Hatley 14 ... Aberdeen 42, Amory 35 ... Louisville 34, Kemper County 0 ... East Webster 20, Smithville 12 ... Winston Academy 34, Copiah Academy 12 ... Oak Hill Academy 34, Strider Academy 20 ... West Memphis (Arkansas) 24, Columbus Christian 6 ... Victory Christian 54, Unity Christian 12 ... Gordo 34, Aliceville 17 ... Oakman 34, Lamar County 12 ... Pickens County 44, Marion 6 ... Sulligent 28, Hamilton 20 ... Pickens Academy 34, Patrician Academy 20
Last Week: 16 - 1 (94.1 percent)
For Season: 27 - 4 (87.1 percent)
3. A mural revisited, one more time COMMUNITY