September 1, 2015 6:25:46 PM
Already, the first two weeks of the prep football season have provided some thrills and chills.
With region and district play still upcoming for the Mississippi schools, things are beginning to get serious and the time to fine-tune is about to end.
The week ahead features some top-notch rivalry games including Starkville at West Point and New Hope at Columbus. Hopefully, these games and the others for this weekend will pick up where the excitement of August left off.
New Hope at Columbus High
Lowndes County rivals Columbus and New Hope meet with both teams needing a win to kickstart their respective seasons.
Columbus committed six turnovers in last Friday's 25-8 loss to Noxubee County. One thing we have learned about the Falcons, they are mentally tough and resilient. If they start hanging onto the football, things will get even better.
New Hope enters after tough losses to Louisville and Aberdeen. Essentially, the Trojans usually play well for a while but not for quarters.
This contest will be decided by who plays best for four quarters.
Columbus High 28, New Hope 17
Starkville High at West Point
It is a safe bet that Starkville and West Point will play a game much better than last season's 34-3 Starkville victory.
West Point has some really good talent. However, it is young. It will be exciting to watch the Green Wave grow up throughout the season.
On the other hand, Starkville bounced back from its season-opening defeat to Noxubee County to take a nationally-televised win over Oxford.
Starkville will have to bow its neck to win the Class 6A state championship. The same could be said for West Point in Class 5A. Friday will tell us whoever is able to win a big game early in the season.
Starkville High 28, West Point 27
Aberdeen at Amory
Aberdeen recovered from a season-opening loss to Corinth by beating New Hope on a late touchdown last week. Led by senior wide receiver Jerrick Orr, the Bulldogs have some serious playmakers on offense. The defense is pretty good, too.
Amory is coming off a dramatic win over Saltillo after being throttled by Madison-Ridgeland Academy in Week 1.
Aberdeen has dominated the A-game of late. Look for that trend to continue.
Aberdeen 34 Amory 20
Oak Hill Academy at Heritage Academy
Oak Hill Academy looking for its third victory on the young season, while Heritage Academy is looking for help.
Coach Chris Craven's Raiders squad may be one of the area's best early stories. Oak Hill Academy has knocked off Newton County Academy and Tupelo Christian Prep.
Heritage Academy fell victim to serious turnover issues in a 47-7 loss to Lamar School. The Patriots will have to grow up fast to compete with the elite teams in Class AAA.
In this rivalry of late, Heritage Academy has had the upper hand. This could be the year Oak Hill Academy grabs some revenge.
Heritage Academy 18, Oak Hill Academy 16
Starkville Academy at Magnolia Heights
Starkville Academy has picked up where it left off last season. The Volunteers have dominated Marshall Academy and West Lowndes to start 2-0.
A victory over Magnolia Heights last season is when we knew Starkville Academy was for real. The same could be said for this matchup.
Starkville Academy 27, Magnolia Heights 14
West Lowndes 42, McAdams 0 ... Noxubee County 34, Aledo (Texas) 12 ... Kemper County 31, Louisville 28 ... East Webster 24, Choctaw County 12 ... Hatley 28, Hamilton 12 ... Sylva-Bay Academy 22, Columbus Christian 18 ... Sharkey-Issaquena Academy 54, Central Academy 6 ... Hebron Christian 34, Strider Academy 28 ... Victory Christian 24, New Life 22 ... Northside 34, Aliceville 24 ... Hatton 28, Sulligent 20 ... Lamar County 34, American Christian Academy 28 ... Pickens County 34, Thorsby 0 ... Tuscaloosa Academy 34, Pickens Academy 16
Last Week: 14 - 8 (63.6 percent)
For Season: 27 - 15 (64.3 percent)