Columbus High School senior quarterback C.J. Gholar made numerous plays Friday night.
He could only watch, though, as Noxubee County made one more play in the end.
In one of the state's marquee matchups at Falcon Field, No. 5 Columbus and No. 10 Noxubee County battled until the final seconds of a hard-fought 24-23 victory by the visiting Tigers.
FULTON -- It seemed like everything had changed when former West Point High School standout Kadarius Forside returned to the Itawamba Community College practice field prior to the start of the 2016 season.
Noxubee County High School football coach Tyrone Shorter plans to grade his defense a little better this week.
"I think they have worked their way up from a C-plus," Shorter said. "Yes, they will get better than that."
Two goal-line stands and two safeties will make any coach giddy. All of those defensive plays loomed large in Noxubee County's 24-23 victory against Columbus on Friday night at Falcon Field.
Chris Blair believes the Columbus High School football team's defense is underrated.
"We are on a mission this season," said Blair, a defensive end. "We feel like we can be one of the best defenses in (Mississippi High School Activities Association Class) 6A. A lot of people took notice last year. Now, we are back to show even more people the type of defense we are capable of playing. Everybody on the team is excited about our potential."
WEST POINT -- West Point High School football player Terrence Cherry always has been a man of few words.
The massive defensive lineman prefers to lead his team by verbal motions and play-making actions.
Columbus High School coach Randal Montgomery believes the cliche that a football team's biggest improvement comes from the first week of the season to the second.
That is why Montgomery took last his team's pedestrian 26-12 victory against Kemper County last week in stride.
A rather uneventful first week of the prep football season is in the books.
On a statewide level, there weren't that many marquee matchups. However, it was good to have touchdowns, heat timeouts, and concession stand hot dogs again.
Things change with the second week of the season where there are some really good matchups, including two top-10 showdowns: Starkville at Oxford and Noxubee County at Columbus.
We are eight days away from normalcy for the East Mississippi Community College football program.
Former Mississippi State standout Dak Prescott continues to shine at Dallas Cowboys training camp.
DEKALB - Columbus High School senior defensive tackle Josh Gray takes great pride in going from follower to leader.
SCOOBA -- Even though he has played football for virtually his entire life, East Mississippi Community College freshman quarterback Timorrius Conner is still learning.
Columbus High School senior defensive end Tahj Sykes heard the criticism.
Then he heard the praise and admiration.
SCOOBA -- East Mississippi Community College defensive coordinator Ed Holly didn't need a road map to find Scooba when accepted his present position.
Holly's third stint as a member of the Lions' coaching staff begins Sept. 1 when No. 1 EMCC takes on Jones Junior College to open the 2016 Mississippi Association of Community and Junior Colleges (MACJC) regular season.
We have finally made it.
When the sun sets, the prep football regular season will have started in the state of Mississippi.
The opening weeks always provide intriguing matchups. The area is full of title contenders this season, so the run to championship weekend should be fun.
Here is what we are watching for in Week One:
After getting a tease this past weekend, the prep football season is really here.
SCOOBA -- After last season's disappointing ending, players and coaches at East Mississippi Community College have talked about the anticipation for a new season.
That excitement rose a notch Monday when the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) ranked EMCC No. 1 in the nation in its preseason poll.
Game week finally has arrived for the Mississippi High School Activities Association (MHSAA) and the Mississippi Association of Independent Schools (MAIS).
All of the predictions are out and coaches are putting together game plans for their openers.
As the countdown to kickoff winds down, let's look at the games that will help define this season.
The East Mississippi Community College football program remains a box office hit even in the offseason.
Noxubee County High School football coach Tyrone Shorter hasn't won three Mississippi High School Activities Association state championships by taking short cuts.
When his team is down, Shorter finds a way to lift it up. When his players are up, Shorter reminds them nothing has been accomplished and that they are capable of much more.
Last August, De'Andre Johnson had a critical decision to make.
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