• John Macon Gillespie

Playoffs: Breakdowns & Staff Picks


The highest classification in Mississippi high school football was blown wide open when Madison Central defeated South Panola in the first round. Starkville likely became the favorite once the Tigers went down and now the Jaguars will have a chance to knock out the new favorite in 6A. Madison Central is a very talented team and they were inconsistent in the regular season but have begun to play up to their potential in

the playoffs thanks to dominant performances from their defense.

​The South 6A finals features two underdog teams that have caught hot streaks to get to where they are. Meridian is a team much like Madison Central that is very talented, more talented than some of their regular season play might have dictated. However, like the Jaguars the Wildcats have used suffocating defensive play to win when it matters. They will need another against a high octane Petal offense. Either match-up in 6A could provide us with an instant classic.

SES Take: “Meridian has caught fire. They’re playing well right now and getting better each week. They are too hot to go against.” John Luke McCord, SES Analyst


Each team left in 5A should be very familiar to even the average high school football fan in Mississippi. In fact, the teams are pretty familiar with each other as well. Both games feature rematches of division rivals. With Laurel and Wayne County, we have a rematch of a regular season finale that saw Lauren win the division over the War Eagles. The game will again be played Between the Bricks. Keon Howard stepped up big to win that regular season match-up and will likely have to do the same tomorrow night. Benito Jones and Wayne County have no doubt made some adjustments and gotten better since that loss to the Tornadoes.

Oxford gave up 28 points to West Point in the regular season but were still able to win in a blowout. This game features a clash of styles. The Green Wave want to run over you, while the Chargers would like to throw it right through you. This game also features two quarterbacks in Jack Abraham, who is proven and at the end of his career, while Marcus Murphy is just a sophomore and is just now making a name for himself early in his career. Each team features another 4-star SEC-bound recruit, too, in Scott Lashley of West Point and DK Metcalf of Oxford. Should be a good, cold clash of 5A titans.

SES Take: “Oxford and West Point faced off on the Chargers home turf earlier in the year. These two teams are know for their high powered offenses, so the game comes down to whose defense can get the key stops. I expect the Green Wave to have learned from its mistakes in the road loss and make adjustments. However, I think Oxford wins a close one at home to advance to the State Championship for the third year in a row.” Austin Davis, SES Analyst


This league has a shot for a title game rematch between defending champion Noxubee County and St. Stanislaus. However the Rock-a-Chaws will have their hands full with a very talented and heavy hitting Lawrence County team.

Lawrence County may possess enough speed on defense to disrupt the mighty passing attack led by QB Myles Brennan.

Noxubee County is playing their best football of the season but will have to go on the road to a 12-1 Greenwood team that only blemish came at the hands of 5A Grenada over a month ago. Noxubee County will depend on their usual suspects on defense and the arm or QB Ti’Morrius Conner on offense to get the job done and return the Tigers to the title game.


You won’t believe it but 3A is home to another match-up from the regular season as West Marion will get another shot to take down 3A bully Collins. While Collins is usually dominant, West Marion played them to a 38-34 nail-biter in the regular season. There could be adjustments here, but then again there might not be. Collins is certainly the favorite, but West

Marion knows better than anyone that they are beatable.

Charleston, like Collins, is a favorite this Friday night, but also like Collins, they will certainly be tested and likely receive all they can handle and more. Jerrick Orr and Aberdeen are confident and fast. They can give Charleston trouble and I expect just that. On the podcast we discussed this game as potentially a surprise as it could give us one of the best games of the week.


For almost half of a decade the 2A ranks have belonged to the Bassfield Yellowjackets. They do not seem quite ready for that to change. However, one of the most improved teams in the state will stand in their way. Bay Springs has a balanced offense and enough speed on defense to give Bassfield a run.

East Webster seems to always be lingering around this time of year. Is now the time they get over the hump and bring home the golden football? Not if Moo Moo Patterson and the Baldwyn Bearcats have anything to say about it. Patterson runs at a clip of nearly 8 yards per carry. If Moo Moo gets going then Baldwyn could be on their way to the Vaught.


With a repeat of last years matchup between St. Aloysius and Cathedral out of the question after they each moved over to the MAIS, 1A has been wide open.

Smithville has been one of the hottest teams in the state and will need to stay that way in order to keep pace with Simmons. Simmons has shown they can score fast and often and will look to continue that trend Friday night. If Smithville can control the pace of the game, they win.

Lumberton heads to Resurrection in what could be the most underrated game of the night. Expect to see a lot of fire works in this one as each team feels they deserve to have their tickets to Vaught-Hemingway Stadium punched.

Staff Picks:

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