• Jared Redding

Rowdy's Five: Week 11

Water Valley receiver Martavius Rockett follows a block from his teammate. Photo courtesy of Keith Warren, MHSAA.

Hello everyone, and Happy Halloween.

For some teams around the state, we’ve reached the end of the “second season” and the road to Hattiesburg is about to commence. Until then, playoff scenarios are being played out and it can lead to headaches trying to figure them out. It is all worth it.

Who’s in, who’s out? Who’s playing at home, who’s playing on the road? Who’s playing in December, who’s going home? All of this will be decided soon. In the meantime, here are some things to watch this week.

3A Region 2 Championship

You may recall that Water Valley was in this same situation last year, minus the opponent.

The Blue Devils, despite losing one game in the early part of the season, had to win their final game of the regular season in order to lock up a No. 1 seed. What was the result? Painful. They got smacked around by North Panola. The Blue Devils later returned the favor and got their revenge on the Cougars en route to winning their first state championship since 1990.

In short, the outcome of this game tomorrow won’t affect whether they are playing in a state championship, but it might be a little easier for them this time if they can lock up a No. 1 seed. They’ll have to run through Senatobia in order to do that.

The Warriors wasted no time becoming a force in Class 3A this season, knocking off defending region champion North Panola and Independence last week. Their defense has been the main key to success. Slowing down this Water Valley team won’t be easy though with the likes of Jacob Truss.

Let’s boogie.

2A Region 6, Who’s At Home? Who’s On The Road?

2A South, as a whole, has been fun to watch this season. This region in particular has shaped up to be among the best so far.

Philadelphia has already locked up the region with the help of Elite 10 member Lideatrick Griffin, Asher Morgan and that stacked roster. They’ll be at home to begin postseason play next week. Union has already grabbed that final playoff spot in the region. The other two seeds will be determined by this game tomorrow.

Scott Central again has what it takes to make another title run with that powerful run game. Lake has quietly had themselves a pretty impressive year as well. A playoff game looms regardless for both of these teams, but home field for the first round is on the line. Three losses between these two teams. Who’s going to take it?

6A Region 3 Madness

Let’s remind you how much of this season in this region did not go as scripted in the preseason.

The general thought was Brandon and Pearl, who’s going to win it? It turns out that Brandon has hit as few rough patches despite being impressive as a team and Pearl being without their key cog in Kenyatta Harrell for the second half of the season, out with a devastating ACL tear. The team that would later control their destiny was the dark horse, Petal. Oak Grove and George County had themselves some massive wins in region play too. The amount of parody is off the chart. It is so much fun to watch. Good news, we have more coming.

Oak Grove will travel to Pearl and No. 1 ranked Petal will travel to the comfortable confines of George County. Both games have massive playoff implications in a region that is perhaps the best anywhere in the state. Get your popcorn ready.

MAIS Playoff Time

This MAIS has been different, different classes, different competition, and different routes to Mississippi College a few weeks into the future.

However, not everyone is beginning this trek yet. 6A, and 8-Man 1A will have to play one more regular season game before postseason play. As far as the format, not much change in the fact that the top tier teams are rewarded. 5A, 4A, 3A, and 8-Man 2A will each have four teams with a first round bye.

Heritage Academy, St. Joseph (Greenville), Manchester Academy, and Riverfield have been on a different stratosphere within their respective classes. We’ll see if this can continue.

Cold(er) Weather

We know what you’re thinking, “Thanks, Captain Obvious,” right?

Temperatures dropped pretty this week with all the rain and cold front that came with it. Playing in this football weather is a pretty big change from August, September, and most of October.

Kicking the football can be like kicking a concrete block, catching can be difficult, and even playing after taking the field from the sidelines can be challenging if not warmed up already. This will be a factor in just about every game across the state. Depending on where your team is at in this point of the season, they’ll have to overcome this every week if they want to raise a trophy and the ring that follows.

Bundle up, get some hot chocolate, stock up on hand warmers, and enjoy the show.

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