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Rowdy's Top 10 Roundup: Week 5 Edition


Starkville running back Amariyon Howard looks for running room. Photo courtesy of Keith Warren, MHSAA

While most of our Top 10 teams took this week to rest, we at SES Mississippi didn’t.


All of our Top 10 teams have been working the kinks out to prepare themselves for the region play, where everything starting next week will count. Those that played either made a statement, or failed to bring momentum into next week.


This installment will look a little different as expected due to all the bye weeks. Instead, we’ll set the table for what is ahead for said teams.


#1 Madison Central (BYE)


This has been without a doubt the best team in the entire state of Mississippi through five weeks. Their 4-0 record speaks for itself. They defeated a No. 2 ranked team not once, but twice. Jimmy Holiday is having a whale of a senior season and that defensive unit is just scary good.


While all of that looks nice, it doesn’t count. What counts is all that remains ahead of them. 6A will always be a battle, no matter who the opponent. Case in point, their opponent next week. The Jaguars will travel to Clinton to take on the Arrows, a team that has proven to be competitive at a high level.


Will this finally be the year they end their 19 year drought?


Zachary (LA) 19, #2 Brandon 17


Two heavy weights from two different states.


The Bulldogs brought their pride with them across the state line. Unfortunately they couldn’t come away with a W against the back-to-back defending 5A champions in Louisiana. Zailon Johnson had himself a decent game for the Bulldogs and Richard O’Bryant III played a big factor on special teams. Brandon just couldn’t be consistent offensively.


Brandon will look to put the last five weeks behind them as they’ll travel to Terry next week to open up region play. They have what it takes to win 6A South, but will they?


#3 Pearl 21 (BYE)


Kenyatta Harrell has proven over and over through five weeks why he was named to the Elite 10. If 969 yards at this point in the season doesn’t impress, what will?


He is a big factor in Pearl’s 3-1 start. Their only loss was to No. 1 Madison Central. Even then, they hung with them. They still look like a 6A South contender, especially with that offense.


Their next game is another big test. They get to travel to Petal for their 6A Region 3 opener. They can relive 2017 all over again if everything goes right.


#4 West Point 52, Noxubee County 7


Even if they’re two classifications apart, that is still impressive performance by those Greenies.


The Green Wave stuck it to a legit 3A contender in Noxubee County from the opening kick to the final horn. Brandon Harris accounted for five touchdowns with three of them coming in the first half. The final eight minutes ran on a running clock and that should say it all. Perhaps that loss to Louisville was the worst thing that could’ve happened to the rest of 5A.


They’ll roll up to Oxford next week with momentum against the Lafayette Commodores. The quest for a 4-peat is on.


#5 Oxford (BYE)


The Chargers are one of the most loaded across the board in 6A in terms of depth and talent. As expected, they are doing pretty well so far, although being hit hard by Starkville in the Little Egg Bowl again was rough. Having a guy like Elite 10 member J.J. Pegues will be huge for them moving into region play.


Oxford will host Southaven in a 6A Region 1 showdown next week. They have what it takes to win their first 6A region championship in their third year.


#6 Starkville 57, Meridian 0


Ouch.


The Yellowjackets are out for blood once again, as evidenced by this drubbing of a young and struggling Meridian squad. Everything clicked and few issues were had. This was the first time this season that they didn’t play a team in the Top 10. This just shows what a tough schedule can make out of a football team.


Their opponent next week is also looking to open 6A Region 2 play with a bang.


#7 South Panola 39, Clarksdale 6


The aforementioned opponent: these guys. The Tigers were just the better team from the first play. No, literally.


South Panola got on the scoreboard first with a Ty Chapman pick-six on the very first play of the game. The Wildcats responded with a big play of their own with a kickoff returned for a score, but that was just about it for them. Anterio Draper continues to progress this season as he threw four touchdowns in the first half. Cruise control was activated for the last 24 minutes.


The Tigers are 5-0. Next week’s region opener against Starkville just might prove if South Panola is really back.


#8 West Jones 31 (BYE)


The Mustangs have proven that they are here to stay in the southern part of the state. They’ve been resilient at times when they needed to most and been convincing in wins as well. A big reason for their success this season: defense.


West Jones has allowed just 47 points total so far while Alan Follis and company do their job and get them ahead. However, an undefeated record in the non-region slate doesn’t automatically qualify for the postseason, they have to show it.


The Mustangs will host Brookhaven next week as their first step in order to make it back to Hub City again.


#9 Petal (BYE)


Another good example of defensive play so far has come from Petal. The Panthers are back and they’re ready to emerge as a contender again after a few down seasons. That agonizing loss to Laurel last week may have been a wake up call.


Micah McGowan is off to a pretty good start offensively on the ground with 136 rushing yards per game. He’s had a nice supporting cast, but they’ll need everyone to step up from here on out because it gets way harder for them. How about hosting the ranked Pearl Pirates next week?


Whether they can make a run at the ‘ship is still to be determined.


Archbishop Rummel (LA) 7, #10 Oak Grove 3


Make that two losses to our neighbors west of us.


The Raiders held a red-hot Oak Grove offense in check. The Warriors also did so in return. The only points were scored in the second quarter. Other than that we saw defense, defense and more defense. The Warriors may have lost their first game of the season, but they have everything they want ahead of them.


Oak Grove will travel to George County to open up 6A Region 3 play.

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