• Jared Redding

Rowdy's Top 10 Roundup: Week 10

South Panola head coach Ricky Woods paces the sidelines. Photo courtesy of Keith Warren, MHSAA.

Another chaotic week of high school football is almost behind us. Notice the word “almost.”

After all the games moved to Thursday and those that remained as scheduled. We still have a few teams around the state yet to play, one of those teams are in our Top 10. Other than that, it was another fun week, no matter what stunts mother nature tried to pull.

Let’s see how our Top 10 did this week.

#1 Petal 38, Meridian 8

Behold, the new king of the SES Top 10. While that looks nice and all, the Panthers haven’t let this distract themselves from their main goal, to bring their first gold ball to Petal. While there is still some more football to be played, the Panthers are looking really solid right now.

Petal had few issues putting away Meridian to move to 5-0 in 6A Region 3 on Thursday night. Their ground game shared the wealth a little bit with Rashad Handford getting 137 yards while Micah McGowan had 90 yards. Each had a touchdown on the ground. Decarlos Nicholson had two touchdown passes despite going 8/12 for 94 yards through the air. All around good night for the home team in this one.

Petal will travel to George County next week in order to secure a region title.

#2 West Point 35, Columbus 6

While many teams ran away from the rain Friday night, the Green Wave embraced it. After all, waves are made out of water, right?

West Point won their 31st straight region game against the Falcons. You know the drill, West Point runs the football at will and their defense will just hit anything that moves. Columbus fumbled away the opening kickoff and Dantaryius Cannon capitalized with one of his two touchdowns on the night. The avalanche continued. Jimothy Mays scored two TDs on the ground as well and a pick six by Xavier Moody just put the icing on the cake. Once again, “Too Much Point.”

The Green Wave will host nearby New Hope next week.

#3 Starkville 52, Murrah 0

Hughes Field in Jackson was the sight of this ugly affair.

The Yellowjackets, for the seventh week in a row, proved to be the superior team Thursday night. Luke Altmyer had a field day thanks to his prolific arm and his excellent playmakers at receiver. However, it’s hard to mention Starkville without saying anything about their defense loaded with playmakers. They played as expected to.

Thanks for a certain other game in their region, Starkville is in the driver’s seat in 6A Region 2. They will travel to Warren Central next week.

#6 South Panola 38, #4 Madison Central 34

This might’ve the best game of the Mississippi high school football season to date. Two Elite 10 members going head to head with teams that are used to big games with each other. The biggest surprise the night? South Panola’s offense came to play.

The Tigers were always a few steps ahead of the Jaguars for the majority of the first half and led 31-17 at halftime. Then, after a rough first half, Madison Central’s defense single handedly made it possible for them to win in the second half. The Jaguars had themselves a pick-six and scoop-and-score in the third quarter to tie the ball game going into the fourth quarter. The drama would only continue.

After a 4th down stop, the Jaguars drove down the field only to settle for a field goal early in the fourth quarter to take the lead for the first time. Janari Dean would proceed to take over with a few runs and Anterio Draper throws to get near the goal line, eating clock in the process. Dean capped off an 18 play, 80 yard drive with a touchdown to give South Panola the lead again with 2:23 left.

Madison Central put together an outstanding two minute drill and found themselves knocking on the door with about 10 seconds to play. The Jaguars scored, but was wiped off the scoreboard due to a holding penalty. South Panola was victorious. What a game.

The Tigers will travel to Jackson next week to face Murrah next week at Hughes Field.

#5 Oxford 10, Olive Branch 0

Never has a stadium name fit so well with the environment outside. Leslie Pool Field was indeed a pool for a crucial region showdown to see who will take full control of first place in 6A Region 1. It was a defensive slugfest for the whole game. The only real difference was that Oxford rolled the dice late in the first half and it paid off.

After a big punt return and penalty with it, Elite 10 member J.J. Pegues took over, taking the ball inside the Olive Branch 10 yard line. A miscommunication in the Charger backfield would lead to an Oxford field goal. It was good, but a roughing the kicker call kept the Oxford drive alive. John Meagher decided to lob it up to the big boy Pegues in the end zone for a 13 yard touchdown with three seconds left in the first half. Momentum followed the Chargers for the rest of the game despite the conditions.

The Chargers will return home next week to face Hernando.

Oak Grove 36, #7 Brandon 28

Despite Elite 10 member Will Rogers throwing for 495 yards and four touchdowns, it wasn’t enough for his team.

The Bulldogs are in a bit of a pickle in 6A Region 3 after Thursday’s defeat at the hands of the Warriors. If the season ended this week, they would be the No. 4 seed and would have to play on the road to begin the playoffs. However, nothing is guaranteed for them yet. This back and forth affair was an air show. On the other side of the football, Oak Grove quarterback Damon Stewart had himself a game, going 14/20, 278 yards and three touchdowns. Tavion Smith proved to be the key playmaker with four catches, 116 yards and a score through the air.

Brandon will look to keep their postseason dreams alive next week when they travel to nearby Northwest Rankin next week.

#8 West Jones 38, Natchez 12

The Mustangs continue to trample their competition with Friday’s win over the Bulldogs from Natchez. Once again, West Jones is one of two teams in Class 5A without a loss on their resume this season.

A No. 1 isn’t guaranteed for them just yet, but this was something they needed in order to get there. An explosive third and fourth quarter proved to be just too much to handle as Alan Follis and company cruised to victory.

West Jones will travel to Jackson to face Jim Hill next week.

#9 Picayune vs. Pearl River Central - POSTPONED (Saturday, 10/26 @ 7:00 p.m.)

Like most games around the state, mother nature did not smile upon football being played a particular day. These two teams have agreed to play Saturday night football on the coast.

This post will be updated following the final outcome.

#10 Itawamba AHS 41, Pontotoc 7

Say hello to your 4A Region 4 champions, and the first 4A team to crack the SES Top 10 this season.

The Indians showed that they were the better team from the opening kick. Ike Chandler and Davion Sistrunk each accounted for a few touchdowns before leading the Warriors 34-0 at halftime. The game was just about over from that point on.

The Indians will host Caledonia next week. Although nothing will be gained by the outcome, these next two weeks should prove as a fine tune up before postseason play.

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