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  • John Macon Gillespie

Playoff Picture: 1A-6A



As Friday nights finally start to reach lower temps the action on the field is beginning to heat up. Classes 2A through 4A kicked off playoff action this past Friday. This Friday night 6A, 5A and 1A will join them.

So with just 16 teams left alive for each classification, and Friday still a couple of days away, all that is left to do is break down how each playoff bracket could unfold in the coming weeks. Let’s take a look at how each bracket breaks down, as well as a few feature match-ups:

6A - 1st Round

North

Northwest Rankin at Tupelo

Columbus at Madison Central

Hernando at Clinton

Warren Central at South Panola

South

Biloxi at Pearl

Meridian at George County

Petal at D’Iberville

Gulfport at Brandon

Featured Match-Up

Warren Central(9-2, 5-2) at South Panola(7-5, 6-1)

Warren Central handed the Clinton Arrows their only loss of the season on October 21st, something South Panola was unable to do in the opening week of the season. In recent weeks the Vikings have posted 28 and 24 points against Starkville and Callaway, respectively. Those two defensive units, like South Panola are very stingy.

In their last seven games, all within division play, the Tigers are allowing just six points per contest. That includes shutout victories against Horn Lake, Olive Branch and Columbus, in addition to allowing just a field goal to region 1-6A champion, Tupelo. South Panola will need offense to make a run, but their defense can certainly hold their own.

5A - 1st Round

North

Holmes County Central at West Point

Oxford at Grenada

Clarksdale at Germantown

Vicksburg at Lake Cormorant

South

Stone at Laurel

Brookhaven at Hattiesburg

Wingfield at Picayune

Pascagoula at Wayne County

Featured Match-Up

Clarksdale(8-4, 4-3) at Germantown(8-3, 6-1)

There have been no shortage on challenges for Clarksdale this season. Three of their four losses have come at the hands of Tupelo, West Point and Oxford. That is the state’s top-ranked team, the region 1-5A champ and the winner of the North half each of the previous two seasons. The Wildcats have plenty of team speed and that could make them a threat in the playoffs.

The Mavericks of Germantown are riding a wave of momentum into the playoff, as they have claimed six of their last seven contests. The lone loss in that run was at the hands of division foe Holmes County Central. Before that they dropped two non-division games, to Northwest Rankin and Clinton. They are not only hot, but they are battle-tested, similar to the Wildcats.

4A - 2nd Round

North

Cleveland at Amory

Louisville at Lafayette

Pontotoc at Greenwood

Senatobia at Noxubee County

South

Purvis at West Lauderdale

East Central at Florence

Quitman at Poplarville

Mendenhall at St. Stanislaus

Featured Match-Up

Louisville(7-5, 4-1) at Lafayette(9-2, 5-0)

The red hot Louisville Wildcats could be facing the most complete team in the 4A playoffs in the Commodores, but they have won six of their last seven. The lone defeat was a close contest that saw them fall to eventual division champs, Noxubee County. The talent the Wildcats possess on the defensive side of the ball has to be a concern for Michael Fair’s squad.

Meanwhile, Lafayette has won nine straight after starting the season 0-2. In game three they claimed the Crosstown Classic 23-3 over Oxford. Since then they haven’t looked back. Now they must continue to avoid losses, as it will only take one to end their streak and send them home.

3A - 2nd Round

North

East Side at Kossuth

Yazoo County at Charleston

North Panola at Velma Jackson

Independence at North Pontotoc

South

Wilkinson County at Kemper County

Seminary at Southeast Lauderdale

Forest at Hazlehurst

Raleigh at Tylertown

Featured Match-Up

Raleigh(11-1, 4-1) at Tylertown(11-0, 5-0)

Raleigh was 10-0 before losing their final regular season game to Morton by a single point, in double overtime. However, they rebounded last week with a first round win over Philadelphia. The Lions’ rushing attack rolls up 400 yards per game.

Tylertown remains unbeaten on the season and they ran their record to 11-0 with an opening round win over Jefferson county a week ago. The Chiefs have reached the 30-point mark in eight game this season, and five times they scored 42 or more.

2A - 2nd Round

North

South Delta at Baldwyn

East Webster at Strayhorn

Walnut at West Bolivar

JZ George at Calhoun City

South

Amite County at Bay Springs

Prentiss at Union

St. Joe’s Catholic at Bassfield

Heidelberg at North Forrest

Featured Match-Up

Heidelberg(8-4, 3-2) at North Forrest(5-6, 4-0)

Heidelberg enters this match-up with four straight wins under their belt. That includes a win over Puckett in the first round last week, a team who had been ranked fifth in the latest SES Mississippi 2A poll. The final week of the regular season they defeated Union, who was ranked fourth in that same 2A poll. The Oilers are playing the best ball of their season currently.

North Forrest has been playing for their lives for about half the season now, so the playoffs are no adjustment for them. After starting 0-6, they ran through their division clean at 4-0. They registered their fifth consecutive win last week in the first round against Loyd Star.

The Oilers defeated the Eagles at home 22-16 on September 23rd.

1A - 1st Round

North

Broad Street at Smithville

Vardaman at Ray Brooks

Falkner at Simmons

Shaw at West Lowndes

South

Sacred Heart at Nanih Waiya

Noxapater at Resurrection

French Camp at Lumberton

Stringer at Sebastopol

Featured Match-Up

Stringer(7-4, 4-2) at Sebastopol(8-4, 7-1)

Through Stringer suffered just two losses in division play, they did come back-to-back to end the season. That isn’t the way you want to enter the playoffs, but talented all-purpose back Anthony Thomas has already put up 200 yards on the ground against the defense he will face Friday night.

After a 2-3 start Stringer has won six of their last seven games. That momentum, plus familiarity with the Red Devils, should be a big boost in their favor in this opening round match-up. Garrand Bobbitt has made plays all season, and the ball will be in his hands plenty on Friday night.

Stringer beat Sebastopol 39-38 at home on October 21st.

**Photo by Keith Warren of the MHSAA.


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