• Jared Redding

Rowdy's Top 10 Roundup: Week 9

Brandon running back Joshua Montague looks for room to run. Photo courtesy of Keith Warren, MHSAA.

Welcome to the twilight zone. We hope you enjoy your brief stay.

This week of football was full of excitement and some interesting outcomes. Each of our Top 10 teams have things to prove before the postseason begins and will have to battle through a variety of obstacles to get there. The road to Hattiesburg is getting closer.

Before we get to that, we have to break down how our Top 10 went about Week 9.

#4 Starkville 24, #1 Madison Central 21

Welcome to The Nest, where opponents’ hopes of winning come to die.

The king has fallen in Starkville, a place where the Yellowjackets haven’t lost at home since 2014. The Jaguars were forced to get out of a hole early in the first quarter with a Jimmy Holiday that resulted in Luke Altmyer’s first of two touchdown passes to Rufus Harvey. A field goal a little later gave the home team an early 10-0. Then, Madison Central found their way back into it with 14 unanswered points.

Starkville proceeded to get a little more cushion from Joshua Aka in the fourth quarter, but then the Jaguars responded again with Jimmy Holiday. It was just a matter of Starkville holding on from that point on, they did, and are now in the driver’s seat in 6A Region 2. The Yellowjackets will travel to Murrah next week while the Jaguars host Top 10 South Panola.

#2 West Point 20, Grenada 13

Again, a region opponent gives the big dog a scare, but the Green Wave keeps rolling.

The Chargers once again proved to be no slouch. They came out of the gates on fire with a quick 10-0 lead, but you know… West Point. The Wave stormed back with scores from Tre Ryland and Dantaryius Cannon to trim Grenada’s lead to 13-12. Tyron Orr’s pick six gave West Point the lead for good as the third quarter expired and they wouldn’t be denied from that point on.

The Wave rolls on to Columbus next week.

#3 Petal 28, Northwest Rankin 21

The Panthers continue to prove that their incredible run in 6A Region 3 is not a fluke and that they are here to win perhaps the state’s toughest region.

The Cougars gave them a run for their money despite having a really tough season thus far. Micah McGowan is just too tough for many teams to stop. The Petal running back rushed for a handful of scores and did just enough to stay unblemished in region play.

The Panthers host Meridian next week.

George County 21, #4 Pearl 14

Now there’s the quality win that Matt Caldwell and company have been looking for to cement their status as a potential playoff contender.

The Rebels kicked things off real quick with a 94-yard touchdown pass. While they wouldn’t have that kind of explosive play for the remainder of the game, they took advantage of the opportunities they got and pulled off a massive win. Carleontaye Spires did all he could for Pearl, but it wasn’t enough.

The Pirates will host Northwest Rankin next week.

#6 Oxford 14, Horn Lake 10

Oxford’s offense was just having fits against a Horn Lake team that came ready to play from the opening kick.

The Chargers were unable to get anything going offensively in the first half. The number speaks for itself. Oxford had -12 total yards at the break despite a J.J. Pegues touchdown coming off a turnover. The Eagles led most of the second half 10-7 until Oxford finally broke through. Pegues scored his second touchdown to give Oxford their first lead with just under six minutes of play. A Keegan Wilfawn interception thwarted Horn Lake’s comeback attempt.

Next week will be a crucial one for the Chargers and they travel to Olive Branch with 3-0 region records on the line. This one could decide this region when it’s all said and done.

#7 South Panola 69, Greenville 21

One thing we know about South Panola is that they can light up the scoreboard and take the ball away… a lot.

The Tigers gathered six interceptions, five of them in the first quarter. No, that is not a midread. South Panola had an easy 35-0 lead after the first quarter. Although they were pretty much out of it from the get-go, the Hornets still had themselves a second quarter with a few 40+ yard scores and an onside kick recovery for bonus points. At the end of the night, South Panola was just the better team. That was a pretty valiant effort by the Hornets though.

South Panola has a huge matchup next week at Madison Central, a game with significant playoff implications and next week’s only Top 10 matchup.

#8 Brandon 49, Meridian 13

If you need some offensive fireworks, just dial Will Rogers to Ashton Nickelberry.

That tandem went off for a handful of touchdowns. It was just a good night overall for a team that needed a bounce back win in a region that is just chaotic at this point of the season. Next week should be another tough one as well.

The Bulldogs will host Oak Grove next week.

#9 West Jones 24, Laurel 14

In what was perhaps West Jones’ biggest game on their regular season schedule, they showed up and showed out.

The Mustangs cruised to a 17-0 lead and didn’t look back from that point on. Laurel made things interesting late but the better Jones county team prevailed at the end of the night. Alan Follis had himself another solid game and his team followed suit.

West Jones will travel to Natchez next week.

#10 Picayune 64, Long Beach 0

WARNING: The following game may be disturbing for some users. Viewer discretion is advised.

The Tide is, once again, still rolling. The Bearcats were just the latest victim. Cam Thomas once again had a multi touchdown game, most of which came in the first half. Jalen Hall, Kade Turnage and Chad Dudenhefer also got in on the scoring party. The defense… just check the score above.

Picayune will face Pearl River Central next week.

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