September 2, 2014 7:29:40 PM
Week 3 of the high school football finds some teams opening up region play. It also finds other teams hooking up for some intense rivalry action.
Let's take a look at some of these key matchups and give you some winners:
Columbus at New Hope
The past week's biggest story may have been New Hope defeating Aberdeen in its first game under new coach Kris Pickle. Not only did the Trojans win, they dominated on both sides of the ball on the way to a 35-8 victory.
Meanwhile, Columbus did not have the same result as it dropped a 46-7 decision to Noxubee County in the debut of Randal Montgomery.
While you really can't put too much stock in one game, it is easy to admit that the opening results for both teams had a huge hand in changing this pick.
Columbus won a hard-fought struggle at home 20-16 last season. Again, we are looking at another hard-fought struggle which we once again will give to the home team.
New Hope 28, Columbus 20
West Point at Starkville
Much like the Columbus-New Hope rivalry, this series has also lived up to its advanced billing of late.
People are still talking about Starkville's 29-28 overtime triumph in the Class 5A North State championship game of 2012. Both Gabe Myles and Preston Baker etched their names in stone in their final game to play at Yellow Jacket Stadium.
By now, everyone has seen, heard or read about the gaudy offensive numbers of the 2014 Yellow Jackets. Starkville is averaging 51.5 points per game, with quarterback Brady Davis throwing nine touchdowns in eight quarters of play.
West Point has apparently righted the wrongs of its defensive unit from a season ago. Still, the West Point defense won't see anything like they will see Friday night for the rest of the year.
Starkville 35, West Point 14
Noxubee County at Louisville
The latest M.C. Miller Bowl takes place at Hinze Stadium. For the record, Noxubee County is 3-2 in the five meetings between Miller's current employer (Louisville) and his last place of employment (Noxubee County).
This season's contest is hard to read, because Louisville has so many unknowns. Still the Wildcats are chugging along and will carry an 18-game win streak into Friday night's epic battle.
Noxubee County went from really bad (in a 51-19 loss to Starkville) to really good (in a 46-7 win over Columbus) in just seven days. Look for the Tigers to again be leaning in the good direction in this one.
Noxubee County 28, Louisville 14
Winston Academy at Heritage Academy
These two squads have also come together to form quite a rivalry in recent years. You want to see a loud gymnasium come when these two get together in basketball.
This week, the contest will be on the gridiron, where Heritage Academy comes in fresh off a 21-8 win over West Lowndes. Winston Academy had a long night in the office, falling 42-20 to Lamar School.
Heritage Academy appears to be a long way for contending for its MAIS state title in three seasons. However, the Patriots do have some talented players and this group made major strides from week one to week two.
Look for Heritage Academy to grow a little more, while winning a rivalry game.
Heritage Academy 34, Winston Academy 22
Greenville Washington at Starkville Academy
Starkville Academy is looking at a 3-0 start. The Volunteers would also love to gain some revenge for a shutout loss suffered in the MAIS state championship game in 2011.
Coach Jeff Terrill's club has opened with a pair of quality victories - 41-20 over Lamar School and 31-10 over East Rankin Academy. The Volunteers are limiting turnovers and playing great defense when it matters most. That is a really good combination.
Starkville Academy 27, Washington School 21
Amory at Aberdeen
Our rivalry weekend concludes with this battle for bragging rights in Monroe County.
Aberdeen experienced some growing pains Friday night as the youthful Bulldogs dropped a 35-8 decision to New Hope. Despite the setback, quarterback Josh Williams and the rest of the Bulldogs should still be a major factor in the North State Class 3A race.
Aberdeen won last season's meeting, 39-13. This one should be much more competitive but still should go the way of the home team.
Aberdeen 34, Amory 20
St. Joseph 22, West Lowndes 20 ... Victory Christian 44, Evangel 12 ... Caledonia 34, Smithville 18 ... Hamilton 34, Hatley 0 ... East Webster 27, Nettleton 13 ... Tri-County Academy 34, Oak Hill Academy 20 ... Central Academy 24, The Veritas 22 ... Sharkey-Issaquena 34, Hebron Christian 12 ... Columbus Christian 28, Carroll Academy 7 ... Aliceville 34, Northside 27 ... Lamar County 34, American Christian Academy 14 ... Pickens Academy 24, Tuscaloosa Academy 23 ... Pickens County 34, Thorsby 6 ... Hatton 28, Sulligent 27
Last Week: 19-5 (79.2 percent)
For Season: 34-6 (85.0 percent)