• John Macon Gillespie

Week 2 Takes From JMake

Week 2 of the high school football season brought a lot of new material to our eyes. From rivalry games to double overtimes, this weekend, as is the case every weekend in Mississippi, was very entertaining. In case you missed any of the action, here are what I believe to be the top five storylines from an eventful Week 2.

5. Who is South Panola?

As many of you know, I have been a firm believer in the Tigers from Batesville since Ricky Woods returned to their sideline. Friday night, however, did not go well for USP. South Panola fell to a solid Brandon team 37-6, marking their first loss of the season after scraping past Clinton last week. Is South Panola a championship caliber team? Or will they fail to reclaim their place among Mississippi’s elite? If Friday is any indication, the Tigers have some work to do if they want to reach Oxford in December.

4. Calhoun City falls for the first time in a year.

The last time the reigning 2A State Champs lost a football game was on August 26, 2016, to the Houston Hilltoppers by a score of 21-7. Calhoun City was one day away from going an entire calendar year without being in the loss column. Once again, however, the Toppers got the best of the Wildcats, outlasting Calhoun City in a 50-41 shootout. Although the Wildcats were unable to shake their Houston jinx, they are still one of the most, if not the most, talented team in 2A so far this season. Not many 2A teams could hang with and nearly beat the Toppers like Calhoun City did.

3. West Point is…well…West Point.

The Green Wave may be a 5A team, but many fans around the state will tell you that they are the most talented squad in the state, and they could be right. Led by the walking-highlight-reel Marcus Murphy, West Point has outscored their first two opponents 69-21 including a 27-7 win over Louisville last night. The Green Wave welcome rival Starkville this week, and that will be a fun game to watch, to say the least.

2. Battle for the Little Brown Jug

We all love a good rivalry, and we got just that with the 2017 installment of the Battle for the Little Brown Jug between Hattiesburg and Laurel. Hattiesburg came into the week ranked ninth in the SES Top 10 and was looking to defeat Laurel for the fourth straight season. Hattiesburg did just that but had to bite its nails in the final seconds as Laurel drove down the field and almost scored to win. A Golden Tornado pass was intercepted by Dexter Jordan, however, and the Tigers ran out the clock to win 20-14. Hattiesburg has indicated that it can be an elite team this season, but don’t take your eyes off Laurel. The Golden Tornadoes pushed their rival to the edge Saturday night and could make noise as the season rolls on.

1. Welcome to 6A, Oxford.

The Little Egg Bowl between Oxford and Starkville wound up being one of the more entertaining games of the weekend. Many analysts, including myself, thought the Yellowjackets would eventually run away with the game and beat Oxford pretty soundly. That wasn’t the case. The Chargers gave Starkville all they could handle and forced the game into double overtime before the Yellowjackets finally sealed the win. A good win for Starkville, but have we maybe counted Oxford out a little too soon?

Week 2 was a lot of fun as we learned a little bit more about what teams around the state have to offer. What will we learn in Week 3?

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