John F. Kennedy (5-2, 4-0)
The John F. Kennedy Hornets have been hitting their stride recently as they are riding a four-game winning streak. In that span, the Hornets are averaging 35 points per game and are only giving up 11.6 points per contest.
This week, the Hornets will host a St. Joe team that is coming off a 44-32 loss to the Broad Street Jaguars in Region 2-1A action.
Despite losing this past week, the Irish have been a formidable team all season. In five of the team's seven games, the Irish have scored 40 or more points. In the team's two wins prior to their loss to Broad Street, St. Joe averaged 46 points per game.
On paper the two teams seem similar in their approach. The Hornets are averaging 180.4 rushing yards per game while St. Joe averages 161.6 rushing yards per contest. The Irish have seemed to gain more through the air by averaging with 210 passing yards per game compared to 101.3 passing yards per outing for the Hornets.
The St. Joe offensive attack begins and ends with senior quarterback Devonte McPherson. On the year, McPherson has completed 83-of-136 passes (61.0 completion pct.) for 1,445 yards with 20 touchdowns to just six interceptions. McPherson also leads the team in rushing with 465 yards on 58 carries with five touchdowns. McPherson's top two receiving targets have been Terry Bailey (27 rec., 528 yards, 7 TDs) and Demanuel Bailey (25 rec., 524 yards, 7 TDs).
The Hornets have been a team led by a strong running game with two featured backs in Carnez Gant and Xavier Roberts. Gant leads the team with 522 rushing yards on 43 carries with five touchdowns, and Roberts has rushed for 455 yards on 77 carries with four touchdowns.
Quarterback Ladaris Johnson has completed 30-of-67 passes for 663 yards with 11 touchdowns and five interceptions. His main targets are receiving targets are Roberts (12 rec., 237 yards, 6 TDs) and Ricky Fleming (7 rec., 180 yards, 3 TDs).
The Hornets have played solid defense with the ability to shut any offense down. With a strong core led by Cordell Moore at defensive tackle, Roberts at linebacker and Gant at safety and Fleming at corner, the Hornets have a nucleus that makes it difficult for any offense and Friday shouldn't be any different.
Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. in Mound Bayou.
St. Aloysius (5-3, 4-1 reg.) at
Shaw (3-4, 2-2 reg.)
If there was ever a time for urgency then that time is now for the Shaw Hawks who are currently sitting in fifth place in Region 2-1A.
The Hawks played in the 1A State Championship game 2011 and made it to the North Half Title game in 2012. This season, the expectations were high, but the team has stumbled out of the gate losing region games to Broad Street and JFK. With a strong St. Aloysius Flashes team coming to town for homecoming Friday, the Hawks have no time to waste if they expect to make a move to get in the playoff race. There's no room for error and the running game and passing game have to come alive. The Hawks were off last week and should be well rested and ready to go for a Flashes team that loves to pound the rock behind a huge offensive line.
The Flashes are coming off a 44-20 win over Ray Brooks. The team is averaging 211.4 rushing yards per game and 119.4 passing yards. On defense, the Flashes are strong against the run, but have shown a weakness against the pass. In the team's 50-13 loss to JFK the Flashes gave up over 300 yards through the air and seven touchdowns. In Last week's win over Ray Brooks, the Tigers had some success through the air as Syderreck Maiten completed 6-of-10 passes for 110 yards and a touchdown.
The Hawks may need to go to that quick passing game with Andre Pruitt pulling the trigger and finding Octavius Stimmage or Keveon Shepherd Jr.
Defensively, the Hawks have been strong led by Lerandel Allen's 84 tackles.
Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. in Mound Bayou.
Leland (4-4, 0-2 reg.) at
West Bolivar (5-2, 2-0 reg.)
The West Bolivar Eagles have been flying high over the past few weeks winning their last three ball games. The Eagles have been getting contributions from multiple players embracing the old concept of play like a team. There are no stars on this team and that attitude goes hand in hand with the vision first year coach Joac Williams and his staff are working to create. On the field, the Eagles have not been spectacular, but have been extremely solid doing what ever they need to win.
Leland is coming off a 28-0 loss to Hollandale and has dropped its last three ball games. This Region 3-2A matchup will be a good one as the Cubs try to snag their first region win, and the Eagles look to stay undefeated in their hunt to win their 11th straight region championship.
Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. in Rosedale Friday.
Cleveland (4-4, 1-1 reg.) at
Amanda Elzy (3-5, 0-3 reg.)
The Cleveland Wildcats will be looking to get back on track this week as they travel to Greenwood Friday night to face an improved Amanda Elzy team in Region 3-4A action.
The Wildcats are coming off a heartbreaking 36-31 loss to Yazoo City last week where they had every chance to win. At 1-1 in the Region 3-4A standings the Wildcats are tied for second with three other schools and will need to make move beginning this week. The Wildcats have been running the ball well with Earnest Butler and Andonte Maxie with contributions from Vaughnte Dorsey. On defense, Dorsey and Larry Douglas, III have been big playmakers. Last week Douglas led the team with nine tackles, two interceptions with a forced fumble and fumble recovery.
Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. in Greenwood.
East Side (5-3, 2-0) at
Humphreys Co. (3-5, 1-1)
This Region 3-3A matchup should be a good one and also one that truly tests the strength of the Trojans. Since moving Jalen Thomas to full-time quarterback, the Trojans’ offense has shifted into another gear. In the last two weeks with Thomas as the signal caller, East Side is averaging 59.5 points per game. The Trojans will be looking to improve on last week's performance by continuing to put the ball in their playmakers hands. The team seems to be gaining confidence at the right time and players who struggled early on are starting to make plays. This may not be the undefeated season that the fans have become accustomed to with the Trojans, but the team is getting hot at the right time and history has shown that its not always the best team that goes all the way, it’s the hot team.
Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. in Belzoni.
Montgomery Co. (3-5, 2-3 reg.) at
Ray Brooks (0-7, 0-4 reg.)
The Ray Brooks Tigers have been getting closer each week as they try to find that elusive first win. Ray Brooks have been fighting hard and working hard, but haven’t been able to get in the win column. This week with the Montgomery County Hornets coming to town for a Region 2-1A showdown the Tigers are poised to finally get over the hump. Montgomery has lost their last two ball games and fighting to find a way to get back to winning. The Tigers can run the ball and throw it well enough to keep the Hornets off balance.
This may be the week the Tigers get one on the left side of the record.
Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. in Benoit.
McAdams (1-7, 0-4) at
Broad Street (5-2, 4-1)
The Broad Street Jaguars are in a good spot as they welcome the McAdams Bulldogs to Wilson Stadium at Lit Parker Evans Field for homecoming Friday in Region 2-1A action. The Jaguars are coming off a 44-32 win over St. Joseph, giving them their fourth win in five games. The Jags have been having great success running the football with Richard Horn, Jarvaris McClenton, Demarcus Alexander and Danterris Greyer. Defensively, Broad Street is led by ZyKedrick Bingham, Devonte Brown, Lamarcus Phillips, Alexander and Jonathan Lyles.
Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.
Lee Academy (6-2, 2-1 dist.) at
Bayou Academy (3-5, 1-2 dist.)
The Bayou Academy Colts will host District 1-AA foe Lee Academy (Clarksdale) in Cleveland Friday. The Colts are coming off a 49-34 loss to Tunica, but can't sulk long as a high-powered Lee Academy team comes in after beating North Delta 35-6. Bayou lost to North Delta 34-13 earlier in the year and if they don't want a repeat performance they will need to get focused and physical as they host the other Colts. Lee is averaging 29 points per game while Bayou is averaging 21 points per game.
This should be an interesting one.
Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.
Ruleville (1-6, 0-2 reg.) at
Leflore Co. (3-5, 1-1 reg.)
The Ruleville Central Tigers will have their hands full on Friday night as they travel to Itta Bena to face the aerial attack of the Leflore County Tigers. This Region 3-3A matchup will test Ruleville to the limit as Leflore runs an up-tempo passing game that stretches any defense. On the season, Leflore is averaging 26 points per game, but the defense is allowing 33.4 points per game. Ruleville should be able to take advantage of Leflore's defense, particularly on the ground.
Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.
MS School for Deaf (7-0) at
North Sunflower (2-6)
The North Sunflower Academy Rebels will be playing some Thursday night football tonight as they host the Mississippi School for Deaf Bulldogs out of Jackson.
The Rebels will be looking to get back on the winning track as they are currently riding a two-game losing streak. NSA will play a Mississippi School for Deaf team that has a perfect record thus far.
NSA will have to be on its game to get that victory.
Kickoff is set for 6 p.m. in Drew.