East Side (10-0, 4-0 reg.)
This one is for all the marbles in Region 4-3A as the Velma Jackson Falcons come to town to take on the undefeated East Side Trojans.
This game is simple, if the Trojans win they are region champions for the second straight year, but if they lose they will finish second.
It has been a tough couple of weeks for the Trojans dealing with internal team issues, but they responded last Friday with a decisive team win over the Ruleville Central Tigers 34-8. For the first time this season, the Trojans came out fast and finished strong. The effort and togetherness seemed to overwhelm the Tigers. If East Side can keep that type of focus moving forward, it will not be a surprise if the Trojans make it to Jackson.
Jalen Thomas got the start at quarterback last week, but Barron Burns and Dy'monquae Pates each saw time as signal caller with each player experience positive production at the position. The Trojans also used a stable of backs in that contest and showed some different looks on offense. This week with Velma Jackson coming to town, the stakes are a little higher. Even though the Trojans can finish no worse than second in the region, team expectations will not accept anything less then first. The Falcons are coming off a 42-34 win over Leflore County for their second consecutive win.
This contest should be a good one.
Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. Friday in Cleveland.
Broad Street (6-3, 3-1 reg.) at
Strayhorn (8-2, 3-1 reg.)
In this Region 3-2A race, this game is for second place. Both the Broad Street Jaguars and the Strayhorn Mustangs are tied with with a 3-1 mark in the region with that loss coming at the hands of the JFK Hornets.
Strayhorn fell to the Hornets 22-2, and Broad Street loss to the Hornets 31-6 last week. The Mustangs have been the surprise team of the year as they have won more games this season than the last two seasons combined. The Mustangs will enter Friday night's game with Broad Street coming off a 29-0 win over Coahoma County. The Jaguars will need to get back on track against Strayhorn on both sides of the ball. Last week against JFK, missed tackles, turnovers and penalties at crucial points in the game doomed the Jaguars and this week when they hit the road to Sarah those mistakes cannot show up. Broad Street has struggled to stop the run all year and Friday gets no better as they will get a heavy dose of running as the Mustangs average 260 rushing yards per game behind the strong running of Greg Caston with 132 yards per game. Broad Street seniors Devonte James and Ladarius Walker will need to step up on offense and so will Carmen Banger and the rest of the Jaguar defense if they expect to win this game to earn a first round game at home in the 2A playoffs.
Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. Friday in Sarah.
Ray Brooks (2-7, 2-3 reg.) at
Shaw (6-2, 4-1 reg.)
It will be homecoming for the Shaw Hawks as they come off their two-week layoff. With the break, the Hawks have had the chance to get healthy from some nagging injuries and really focus on polishing up their offense and defense. Shaw should be anxious as they play their neighbors to the west in the Ray Brooks Tigers. The Hawks have been strong this season averaging 33.1 points per game along with 174.9 rushing yards per contest. The Hawks are also very opportunistic passing the football. The Hawks’ defense is one of the best in the area and should really be fired up to get after the Tigers Friday. For Ray Brooks, it's all about getting better and building on its 46-0 win over McAdams last week for their second win of the year. Currently the Tigers are tied in fifth place with a 2-3 mark in Region 2-1A. Statistically, the Tigers are not out of the hunt for a playoff spot, but will need to win their next two games and get some help from other teams in the region.
Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. Friday in Shaw.
Cleveland (7-3, 3-1 reg.) at
Greenwood (5-4, 3-1 reg.)
The Cleveland High Wildcats are coming off a tough 28-21 loss to Yazoo County last week at home.
The win for Yazoo County put the team in a tie for first place in region 3-4A with Cleveland and Greenwood. Yazoo County will also play Gentry, who is 6-4 with a 2-2 mark in the region. If Cleveland wins and Yazoo County loses, Cleveland will clinch the region title.
Greenwood is a team that loves to throw it around, and Cleveland is a team that loves to run the ball.
This game will challenge both defenses in two different ways. Cleveland has to stop the pass and Greenwood has to stop the run. On the year, Greenwood is averaging 242 passing yards per game, while Cleveland is averaging 254 rushing yards per game. Greenwood quarterback Kwadra Griggs has completed 140-of-256 passes for 2,169 yards with 21 touchdowns and just seven interceptions. At 6-feet-2 and 210 pounds Griggs should be a problem for the Wildcats. On the flip side, the Wildcats run the football better than any team in the area and with Marshall Boggs, Jason Young, Vaughnte Dorsey, Trace Bray and Andonte Maxie to carry the load in the backfield, the Bulldogs won't know what hit them.
In order to have success, the Wildcat running game is important to field position and time of possession to keep that high profile Greenwood offense on the sidelines.
Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. in Greenwood.
West Bolivar (8-2, 4-0 reg.) at
Hollandale (4-5, 2-2 reg.)
This game between bitter Region 4-2A rivals will take place tonight in Hollandale as reported by school officials. The West Bolivar Eagles are riding the high of a five game winning streak where they are averaging 46.8 points per game and holding their opponents to just eight points per game. The Eagles, at 4-0 in Region 4-2A, are looking to win another region title as they travel to Hollandale Friday. The Eagles are coming off a 57-6 win over Marshall and Hollandale is coming off an 8-0 loss at the hands of O'Bannon. The home field advantage card does not mean much for Hollandale as they are only 1-3 this year at home. West Bolivar on the other hand is perfect on the road with a 4-0 mark this season.
Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. tonight in Hollandale.
Ruleville (2-8, 2-2 reg.) at
McClain (7-3, 2-2 reg.)
The Ruleville Tigers are coming off a devastating 34-8 loss at the hands of East Side, but are still in a good place to finish the year strong with a playoff spot. Last week, the Tigers ran into a buzz-saw in East Side, but have had time to lick their wounds and get back on track to face McClain this week. McClain will not be a push over with seven wins under its belt, but the Ruleville offense has a couple of nice players that could be a surprise for the Mustang defense.
Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. in Lexington.
Hillcrest Christian (1-9) at
Bayou Academy (5-4)
It was a tough night for the Bayou Academy Colts last week with their 14-10 loss to Tunica Academy at home. The loss put Bayou in a tough situation, but still with a chance to make the playoffs. Tunica and West Memphis are both tied at 3-2 in the district and both of those teams still have one more district game to go. Desoto will play Tunica, while West Memphis will play Deer Creek on Friday. The season could end with a three-way tie between Tunica, West Memphis and Bayou for third, which would decide who would go to the playoffs by a tiebreaker system. There could also be a situation where Bayou is tied with either Tunica or West Memphis for fourth, which would also go to a tiebreaker. This week's game with Hillcrest is a non-district game and Bayou should be in a good mood to play a better football game to close out the regular season.
Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. Friday.
West Tally (3-7, 1-3 reg.) at
John F. Kennedy (7-3, 4-0 reg.)
The John F. Kennedy Hornets did what they had to do last Friday with a 31-6 blowout win over the Broad Street Jaguars in Region 3-2A, which assured them the right to host the first round of the playoffs with a No. 1 seed and region championship for a second straight year.
This final game with the West Tallahatchie Choctaws should be a dress rehearsal for the Hornets as they prepare to avenge last year's first round exit to Okolona in the 2A state playoffs. West Tally is coming off a 28-20 win over Coahoma Aggie and will be plenty excited. That momentum will be hard to maintain when the Choctaws hit the field against the Hornets’ defense led by senior Demorris Bedford.
Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. Friday in Mound Bayou.