• Jared Redding

Rowdy's Five: Week 3 Edition

West Point running back Brandon Harris runs the football against West Jones on Saturday, Dec. 1, 2019. (Photo Courtesy of Keith Warren, MHSAA)

Can you believe that after this week, we’ll be about 1/4 of the way through the regular season for most of Mississippi high school football? Yeah, we can’t either.

It seems like yesterday we released our preseason rankings, named Trey Benson our final member of the Elite 10 and picked our first slate of games. Time sure does fly when you’re having fun.

If you’re expecting a week better than the previous two weeks as far as matchups go, prepare to be a little disappointed. But hey, we’re playing football again. Not just any football, Mississippi football. We had plenty of storylines from this past weekend and most of them play into this week’s Rowdy’s Five things to watch out for this weekend. Let’s take a look, shall we?

Which powerhouse will fall to 1-2

Every now and then, you may find one of these two teams 1-1 to start the season based on their usually stacked non-region schedule. However, it is really rare that you see either of them 1-2. Two of our Top 10 teams, Starkville and West Point, are in danger of just that.

The Yellowjackets from Starkville continued to bully their rivals from up north, Oxford, to win their 6th straight Little Egg Bowl and their first game of 2019. The West Point Green Wave, however, were handed their first L of the season as they were scorched through the air by Louisville in one of the more impressive wins so far in this young season.

Now, they’ll go head-to-head this Friday in a rivalry that dates back a very long time. Starkville has won four of the last five in the series. This is a rivalry after all, and it’ll come down to who wants it more. Both have the potential to win their respective classes, but who will claim Golden Triangle bragging rights is to be determined.

Holiday, Morris, Keyes closing in on 1,000 passing yards.

If you tune in to our Top Performers list each week on Monday and our (soon to come) Craddock Trophy watch, you’ll probably hear these names again. The numbers speak for themselves. Three small-school Mississippi quarterbacks have not only made their offenses light up the scoreboard after two weeks, but have put up video game-like numbers in the process.

Khi Holiday of TCPS currently leads the state in passing yards with 730, followed by Lamar’s Will Morris with 710 yards and Ty Keyes with 607. Each of them had a receiver on their team play a big role in all of that. At this pace, if they keep doing what they’ve been doing this week, they might be able to crack that 1,000-yard mark. That is, unless the opponents' defenses has other ideas.

Keep an eye on that as TCPS plays Biggersville, Lamar plays Leake Academy and Taylorsville plays Jefferson Davis County.

Another goose egg for Noxubee County?

Normally, this team can shut out or limit any team’s offense to next to nothing. This year’s Noxubee County’s defense, however, is off to an impressive start.

It all started off with the Tigers smothering Drea Shumaker and that Louisville passing attack. The outcome was a 2-0 win that’ll make you question if baseball or soccer was still being played. That Louisville team would go on to light up West Point of all teams offensively the next week. That same week, the Tigers would again dominate another offense in Columbus, a team two classifications above them.

While their offense has struggled a little bit to find their footing, that defense is the reason why the Tigers are 2-0. They’ll face Shannon this Friday with another chance for a shutout, although it won’t be easy by any means.

How last week’s spoilers respond

The aforementioned Louisville win over then-No. 5 West Point, as well as Clinton’s road upset against then No. 7 Olive Branch headlined last week’s Top 10 Roundup. The Wildcats and Arrows started off 0-1, but rebounded emphatically. The question is, what’s next?

This will be a big challenge for both teams to put those big wins in the rear-view mirror and continue to finish each Friday just 1-0. It’s a long season, and a trip to Hattiesburg is a few months away still.

Louisville will look to show that last week’s big win was not a flash in the pan and look to get above .500 against Columbus. On paper, that looks like a win, but they have another potential Top 10 matchup awaiting them the following week against current-No. 4 Starkville.

The Arrows have an even bigger challenge ahead of them: Will Rogers and the No. 3 Brandon Bulldogs. Make that three straight Top 10 opponents for them. Don’t count them out; they pulled off this exact upset before last season. Plus, they hung with Pearl for a little bit and stifled a very talented Olive Branch team. If they can pull this off again, a Top 10 candidate might emerge.

Small School powers go head-to-head

Thursday games have been pretty interesting so far this season. This one will be no exception.

The Jefferson Davis County Jaguars travel to Taylorsville to take on Ty Keyes and the Tartars. Both are legit programs, but they have a completely different style of putting points on the board. Ty Keyes, well, he’s just Ty Keyes; he throws the football a lot. The Jaguars are on the opposite end of the spectrum, they run the football and have many different ways to do it.

This should be fun.

Follow Jared on Twitter at @RowdySES.

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