October 20, 2014 10:51:23 PM
As we enter the final three weeks of the prep football season, playoff berths are now being clinched.
Some of the area's premier teams are trying to nail down home-field advantage. Others are trying to find a strong finishing kick to grab one of the coveted playoff bids. Even some struggling teams have a chance to put it together here late for a right to play in late November.
As we prepare for Week 10 of the prep football regular season, let's look at some winners...
Madison Central at Columbus
Columbus earned its first Region 6-2A win last week with a 46-0 blowout of Greenville.
While the Falcons have struggled hanging on to the football and youth has been evident in more than one game, Columbus can still make something of this season.
With three region games left, Columbus is in a four-way tie for the fourth and final playoff spot in the region.
Madison Central typically fights for the region crown. However, injuries have totally eaten the Jaguars alive.
Despite recent struggles for both, Friday's winner can breathe a sigh of relief.
Columbus 28, Madison Central 24
Lewisburg at New Hope
Many area football fans were anxious to see how previously-undefeated New Hope was going to perform in its huge showdown with fellow Region 1-5A leader Oxford.
Truth is the Trojans put up quite a fight before faltering down the stretch in a 42-21 loss to the Chargers.
New Hope can still win nine or 10 regular season games. The Trojans appear locked in for a playoff berth and should face West Point with first-round home-field advantage on the line next Friday night.
For the first time this season, Kris Pickle will be watching his team as it tries to rebound from a loss. The ability to lock down a playoff bid should be incentive enough for New Hope.
New Hope 34, Lewisburg 12
Murrah at Starkville
Malik Dear and the Murrah Mustangs will be the latest to attempt to score on top-ranked Starkville in Region 2-6A play.
Starkville improved to 8-0 overall and 4-0 in region play with a 28-0 win at Madison Central. The Yellow Jackets have now posted four straight shutouts in region play and have not allowed a point in the last 16 quarters of play.
Starkville has scored on the first possession of every game this season. It is easy to see why the Yellow Jackets are so good - nothing like scoring first and then not allowing the opponent to score at all.
Starkville 42, Murrah 0
Noxubee County at Caledonia
Noxubee County is on another late-season run under Tyrone Shorter. When it comes time to win region championships and earn advantageous draws in the postseason, nobody is better than Noxubee County.
After early-season losses to Starkville and West Point, Noxubee County is 7-2 overall and can wrap up another region title by winning this game.
Caledonia is quietly putting together a nice season as well. The Confederates appear poised to make the playoffs. However, the Confederates can stake a claim for the region crown by winning this contest.
Noxubee County 42, Caledonia 12
Heritage Academy at Starkville Academy
Starkville Academy looks to all but lock up home-field advantage in the playoffs, as well as snap a two-game series losing streak to Heritage Academy.
Meanwhile, Heritage Academy still has playoff hopes. However, any postseason chance involves a win here.
Starkville Academy is 7-1 and had an off week to rest up some players. Heritage Academy is 5-4 after stepping out of district play for a home win over Leake Academy.
In August, several Starkville Academy players talked about this rivalry game and how the senior class did not want to lose three straight. We will find out Friday night if the rivalry game has been worth the wait.
Starkville Academy 34, Heritage Academy 20
Oak Hill Academy at Leake Academy
Perhaps the best win in MAIS play last Friday night belonged to Oak Hill Academy.
With its playoff hopes hanging in the balance, Oak Hill Academy upset Canton Academy in Class AA, District 2 play. The Raiders are now tied with Canton Academy and Leake Academy for first place in the district race.
A very talented senior class has had a lot of success on the field. However, the Raiders have not closed the deal and won a district championship.
That could change Friday night.
Oak Hill Academy 28, Leake Academy 26
Sebastopol 34, West Lowndes 18 ... West Point 35, Saltillo 21 ... Aberdeen 42, Winona 30 ... Amory 28, Tishomingo County 0 ... Louisville 34, Kemper County 6 ... Hamilton 32, Coldwater 30 ... Pelahatchie 42, West Oktibbeha 0 ... Columbus Christian 34, Deer Creek Academy 6 ... Central Academy 34, Calvary Christian 12 ... Hebron Christian 34, Friendship Academy 0 ... Canton Academy 34, Winston Academy 12 ... Aliceville 34, American Christian 12 ... Lamar County 34, Greensboro 30 ... Wilcox Academy 28, Pickens Academy 6 ... Pickens County 34, Fayetteville 0 ... South Lamar 34, Brilliant 12 ... Sulligent 42, Mars Hill Bible 0
Last Week: 19-4 (82.6 percent)
For Season: 166-33 (83.4 percent)