August 28, 2017 1:58:36 PM
With some of the kinks worked out on the opening week of the season, we now turn our thoughts to the second week of action in Mississippi and first week of action in Alabama.
Boy, Starkville and West Point looked good on the opening week. Tip of the hat to West Lowndes for its shutout win over Caledonia. Most of the area academies got off to a strong start as well.
Now, let's see what is in store for Week 2:
Columbus (0-1) at Noxubee County (0-1)
A pair of teams wanting to feel good again meet Friday night in Macon.
Noxubee County always plays a difficult non-region schedule. That means bouncing back from a season-opening 43-3 loss to Starkville is not unchartered territory. The Tigers will need to tread water against a difficult schedule before getting to region play.
Columbus showed signs of its potential in a 42-14 loss at West Point. Coach Randal Montgomery said he felt like he opened with the best team in the state. There was little to argue from the way the Green Wave played in the opener. Columbus just needs to continue to take slow steps forward.
The only real guarantee is this game will not include three safeties. A year ago, Noxubee County the safety battle 2-1 and the game, 24-23.
Noxubee County 35, Columbus 17
West Lauderdale (0-1) at New Hope (0-1)
After a difficult season opener, New Hope looks bounce back in its home opener.
New Hope coach Kris Pickle said his offense had not had consistent practice time together due to rain and due to injury. Since there was a lot of change on that side of the ball, practice time is critical this year, more than most. Hopefully, the Trojans have worked some things out after a 25-3 loss at Forest.
West Lauderdale has enjoyed recent success. However, the Knights appear to be set up for a rebuilding year in 2017. The season opener was a 12-0 loss at Greene County. You can also put the Knights in the category of teams looking for offensive answers.
New Hope won't be ready to open it up Friday but it can still find the win column.
New Hope 21, West Lauderdale 7
Oxford (1-0) at Starkville High (1-0)
Well, Starkville passed the first test of the season with a 43-3 win at Noxubee County. The Yellow Jackets will now try to win the Little Egg Bowl and move to 2-0 in the process.
Starkville quarterback Malik Brown has already looked in mid-season form. The Yellow Jackets have so many weapons on offense, including Cameron Gardner at receiver and Rodrigues Clark in the backfield. When the squad doesn't turn the ball over, it can be special.
Oxford is headed back in the right direction after rebuilding under new coach Chris Cutcliffe a year ago. A 21-6 win over Vicksburg to start the season was certainly a good way to get the Chargers going this season. It will be interesting to see how well they adjust to Class 6A play this fall.
This rivalry has produced a lot of drama of late. The games have been much better than projected in the preseason. We will see if this holds true Friday in Oktibbeha County.
Starkville 35, Oxford 24
Manchester Academy (1-0) at Heritage Academy (1-0)
Coach Sean Harrison's Heritage Academy squad has to be feeling good after rolling over Kirk Academy in the season opener.
Heritage Academy is counting on some young players at some key spots, including sophomore quarterback Carter Putt. However, the Patriots do have a talented senior - Dontae Gray - driving the offensive engine. Look for the Heritage Academy defense to get better each week.
Speaking of defense, that is where Manchester Academy hangs its hat. The Mavericks opened the season with a 14-7 win over Canton Academy. Manchester Academy has a lot of experience back on defense but will be supremely tested by the high-octane Heritage Academy attack.
Here is hoping the Patriots pack the stadium for the home opener.
Heritage Academy 21, Manchester Academy 0
Starkville Academy (1-0) at French Camp Academy (1-0)
Speaking of local academies off to a good start, coach Chase Nicholson's Starkville Academy turned some heads with a season-opening 43-21 win over Lamar School.
Starkville Academy is ready to ride the two-quarterback system with Noah Methvin and Ben Owens leading the way. The Volunteers have talent along the line with unprecedented depth. That depth help wear down Lamar in the opener.
French Camp Academy won a wild one - a 36-34 victory over Winona Christian - in the season opener. The last time the Panthers will need in this contest is a track meet.
It is hard to stop Starkville Academy with everything starts rolling.
Starkville Academy 35, French Camp Academy 14
Aberdeen 49, Caledonia 6 ... Simmons 42, West Lowndes 0 ... West Point 35, Louisville 7 ... Nettleton 34, Hamilton 6 ... Amory 24, Saltillo 0 ... East Webster 20, Okolona 12 ... Winston Academy 14. Sylva Bay Academy 0 ... Newton County Academy 27, Oak Hill Academy 21 ... Tabernacle 48, Victory Christian 42 ... South Lamar 21, Lamar County 14 ... Sulligent 42, Marion County 0 ... Pickens Academy 49, North River Christian 14
Last Week: 11 - 3 (78.6 percent)
For Season: 11 - 3 (78.6 percent)