• Jared Redding

Rowdy's Five: MAIS Championship/Playoff II Edition

St. Joseph players make their way towards the sideline prior to kickoff. Photo courtesy of Hannah Newbold.

Are you tired of all the rain yet? Well, too bad. There is more on the way.

While that may not completely be guaranteed wherever you go this weekend. However, there is one thing that is certain: hardware will be given out. This is the final week of the MAIS football season and there are plenty of thing to look out for there. We also have second and third round playoff matchups in the MHSAA ranks. What a week for football we have here.

Let’s get in to it.

MAIS State Championships

As I was saying…

Tonight, at Jackson Academy, there will be a champion crowned in MAIS Class 1A and 4A. Briarfield and Prairie View are two Louisiana schools playing 8-Man football on Mississippi soil. In 4A, it’s unbeaten Riverfield taking on Cade Shepard and Tri-County Academy.

It’s a full slate the following day again at Jackson Academy. First, we have an 8-Man dandy between Manchester Academy and Marvell for the Class 2A crown. That is followed by Greenville St. Joseph’s quest for another championship up against Indianola Academy, also looking for another championship for the 3A crown. The night cap features perhaps the best overall MAIS football squad Heritage Academy facing off against powerhouse Starkville Academy.

In Clinton this Saturday, there is the rematch. For the second straight year, Jackson Prep and Madison-Ridgeland Academy will play each other for a championship, this time in MAIS 6A. Will the Prep dynasty continue on? Will MRA slay the dragon again and forge perhaps a dynasty of their own? We’ll find out soon enough.

Highway 6(A) Battle

What do these two teams have in common? They only lost to Starkville. What is another thing these two teams have in common? They want to beat Starkville again… should they get past their second round opponent in Olive Branch.

Two schools not too far from each other battling to stay alive in Class 6A. South Panola finally won a first round playoff game for the first time since their last state championship run in 2014, strange right? They gotten better each game since their only loss to Starkville in large part to an emerging QB in Anterio Draper and Elite 10 running back Janari Dean coming back from injury.

The Tigers will need to be at their best if they want to get past old region foe Oxford in their own backyard. The Chargers are red hot right now. They are starting to peak at the right time thanks to Elite 10 member J.J. Pegues offensively and John Meagher leading the show. Although it’s been off and on at times this season with that unit, they may not have to do too much because of that defense they have.

It’s perhaps 6A’s best offense vs. perhaps 6A’s best defense. Buckle up.

Nature Is A Beast

Now we ask the golden question. Can anyone stop Picayune down south?

West Jones has a chance to, but that might have to wait. In the meantime, there are those Golden Tornadoes from Laurel that could possibly pull off the upset as well. They did hand our No. 1 ranked Petal Panthers earlier in the year after all. Regardless, it is a new season for them.

That doesn’t mean that they are guaranteed to stop Cameron Thomas and that power run game. Very few teams have been able to stop that. Laurel has a team that can do it, but it’ll require their best performance all year long. Can they do it?

4A Madness

Moving up north, 4A provides us with not one, but two excellent playoff matchups.

On one side, there are the undefeated Greenwood Bulldogs facing off against the defending champion Louisville Wildcats. Can you think of a better scenario? The Bulldogs have just demolished everything thrown at them this season in pursuit to the school’s first gold ball. The Wildcats have been battle tested this year with some pretty impressive results en route to returning to a familiar spot. It’s sad that one of these teams have to lose.

The other side pits the high powered, undefeated Itawamba AHS Indians against a feisty and dangerous Corinth Warriors squad. The latter showed a lot of guts early this season against bigger competition and it paid off to prepare for the avalanche they’ve created since then.

However, that hasn’t reached the Indians, yet. Ike Chandler, Davion Sistrunk and company survived a 9-7 dog fight last week, but prevailed in a game they sure were not used to at that point. That very well could happen again a week later. The record speaks for itself, they know how to win, but will it continue?

Brace Yourselves

We kind of figured this 2A playoff matchup was going to happen at some point, it was just a matter of when. Fortunately for us, it happened.

Taylorsville is still looking to get back to Hattiesburg and finish where they left off last season. Unfortunately for them, it doesn’t get easier against a loaded Philadelphia squad full of play makers, more notably that Elite 10 member, Lideatrick Griffin. That is one salivating matchup when a quarterback of Ty Keyes’ talent goes up against this kind of team.

Who’s going to survive and advance?

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