• John Macon Gillespie

Five For Friday: Breakdowns & Picks

#9 Columbus @ #1 South Panola

This is very highly anticipated 6A clash. It features the state’s best team in South Panola and quite possibly one of the state’s hottest teams in Columbus. While South Panola is loaded with studs, the best player on the field in this match-up could well be an underclassman for Columbus in junior running back Kylin Hill. He continues to impress more with each passing week.

However, the Falcons aren’t just Hill. Two other juniors help the offense go, as well in running back Kendre Conner and quarterback CJ Gholar. Both of those guys have over 500 yard rushing, in addition to the 1,100 plus that Hill has. While Columbus’ offense can kill you, their defense is a great compliment to what the offense does. The Falcon D is super fast.

South Panola has, as they do most years, devastated opponents in almost every way possible. Like the Falcons, the Tigers also feature three players with a least 500 yards rushing or more this season. So they will also try to kill the Falcons with the run game. However, the Tiger defense has been more than solid this season holding six of their nine opponents this season to 20 points or less.

SES Take: “Columbus is a good team and have done well in district play. However, they are 2-2 on the road with losses to Noxubee County and West Point. South Panola is undefeated and have home field advantage in this contest. South Panola wins.” Austin Davis, SES Staff Writer

#6 Ocean Springs @ #10 Gulfport

This one will decide the region down on the coast. It is for all of the local marbles. Gulfport has been playing great football and earlier this season blew out a very tough St. Martin team. Their offense is physical and can wear teams down when on.

Ocean Springs will be the best defense Gulport has seen this season and has an offense that runs well and passes well enough to hurt you.

Much like last week’s game between St. Martin and Ocean Springs, this matchup could come down to a final possession and perhaps even a walk-off field goal for the win.

#2 Starkville @ #8 Warren Central

This match-up features two teams who only have one loss each. Ironically enough, it features two really hot teams who have won 8-straight each. So both teams lost in week one. However, the personnel on these teams varies. While Starkville features many college prospects like AJ Brown, Kobe Jones and Lorenzo Dantzler, Warren Central has gone about their business a bit more quietly.

The Vikings really like to run the football and they do it well, going over 200 yards per game. Senior tailback Denarius Knight has nine rushing scores this year, while quarterback Jesse has seven. Warren Central wants to throw the ball just effectively enough to set up their run. They have been effective in doing so all season.

Starkville’s offense is a heavy dose of AJ Brown. He has nearly 800 yards and nine scores on the ground this season in addition to almost 900 and seven scores catching the football. Senior Montario Montgomery has passed for 15 scores this season and 1,605 yards this season. The Yellow Jacket defense has performed as they should with two division one defensive linemen and a future SEC linebacker in junior Willie Gay.

SES Take: “Warren Central has been one of the most underrated teams across the board this season. They will have an opportunity to make a huge statement at home this Friday night. However, Starkville is the second ranked team in the state for a reason. I don’t see any reason that changes this week.” Webb Lewis, SES Editor-in-Chief

#3 Oxford @ Center Hill

Both quarterbacks in this match-up are SES Mr. Elite finalists in Jack Abraham of Oxford and Danterius Ellington of Center Hill. Impressive, right? Well, it doesn’t end there as each team’s feature wideout are also on the list in DK Metcalf of Oxford and Jonathan Weeks of Center Hill. So the talent is the match-up is second to none and should make for a very exciting game.

Danterius Ellington may just be a finalist for Mr. Elite, but he’s Mr. Do-it-all for the Mustangs. He averages 187 passing yards per game and has 10 passing TDs this season. On the ground he adds another 88 yards per game and has 12 rushing TDs this season. Weeks, clearly Ellington’s favorite target, has 54 receptions for 856 yards this season and averages over 15 yards per catch. Weeks has also caught 5 scores this season.

For the Oxford Chargers things are really starting to click. Some of that can be attributed to their defense knowing exactly what they have to do each week and making it happen. Some of that can be attributed to their running game with Hiram Waddlington and Joshua Patton. However, mostly it is due to the play of DK Metcalf and Jack Abraham. Abraham has 2,701 yards passing this season and 32 TD passes to just 3 interceptions. Metcalf has 42 catches for 651 yards this season and 9 TD catches, in addition to a TD rush. He averages over 15 yards per catch. All of that for Metcalf in an offense that spreads the ball around to multiple weapons in the passing game.

Senatobis @ Rosa Fort

Senatobia got the job done last week at home versus the Lafayette Commodores. This week they travel to a very good Rosa Fort team who has a lot left to play for.

This one is all about playoff seeding. Senatobia controls their own destiny and if they handle Rosa Fort, they will go into the postseason as the top team from their division. However, Rosa Fort is also in the running for a good seed and a win over the Warriors will give them just that.

Also it is worth mentioning that Lafayette is not mathematically out as for having a shot at the top seed. Crazier things have happened.

SES Take: “Both are really good teams, having good seasons. While Senatobia is coming off a big win, I still like what Rosa Fort has done all season. They’ve been dominant.” John Luke McCord, SES Staff Writer

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