In the beginning (of the season), Dan Mullen created the playbook. And the schedule was void of wins and there was no preseason ranking for the Bulldogs.
The Columbus and Northwest Rankin high school football teams reached the crossroads together in Mississippi High School Activities Association Class 6A, Region 2 play Friday night. After dropping two region games to start the season, each team knew a victory was critical for legitimate playoff hopes to remain alive.
STARKVILLE -- While no coach is ready to lose a game, Starkville Academy football coach Jeff Terrill was ready to see how his team responded Friday night.
The Columbus High School football team did several things well in its Class 6A, Region 2 game against Northwest Rankin on Friday night. Unfortunately for the Falcons, hanging on to the football wasn't one of them.
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5 for Inside for Mississippi State-Auburn
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- An Alabama team known for stingy defense and physical offense is getting more attention for turnovers and penalties this week. The seventh-ranked Crimson Tide (4-1, 1-1 Southeastern Conference) has been uncharacteristically mistake-prone, especially the past two games.
It might not be the time for absolutes, but the Columbus High School football team needs to start winning games in Class 6A, Region 2 if it is going to advance to the playoffs.
STARKVILLE -- Call it the one that got away. A year before his team defeated then-No. 8 LSU and then-No. 6 Texas A&M in back-to-back games, Mississippi State football coach Dan Mullen had the Bulldogs in position for a huge win at Auburn early in the 2013 season. At the time, few knew how good Auburn really was.
STARKVILLE -- Mississippi State guard Fred Thomas wants to be a leader on the basketball court. Part of that desire comes from the fact that it will help the Bulldogs, 24-41 in the past two seasons, win games more games. The other part? Thomas wants to provide MSU's newcomers with something he didn't have when he entered the program three years ago.
WEST POINT -- The loss was still fresh. Even before West Point High's football players left the field after a 43-22 loss to Oxford two weeks ago in the Class 5A, Region 1 opener for both teams, coach Chris Chambless already was plotting his team's rebound.
OXFORD -- The Ole Miss football team's surprise victory against Alabama last weekend will live in school lore for a long time. But the victory -- for all of its immediate satisfaction -- didn't clinch a Southeastern Conference Western Division. There's a lot of football still to be played this season.
SCOOBA -- Sophomore wide receiver Brandon Acker knew he was joining a championship program when he signed to play football and baseball at East Mississippi Community College. Still, he never expected this much success.
As the wins begin to mount, so does the pressure for top-ranked Starkville High School. Starkville is looking for perfection, something rare in the world of sports. The Yellow Jackets (6-0) appear on a cruise control for a Mississippi High School Activities Association Class 6A, Region 2 championship.
Don't look ahead. You can hear the caution in Kris Pickle's voice. It's natural for Pickle to be cautiously optimistic about how his New Hope High School football team has started the season. New Hope improved to 6-0 and 2-0 in Class 5A, Region 1 last Friday with a 53-35 victory against Center Hill. The victory helped push New Hope to No. 4 in The Associated Press Class 5A rankings. The win also extended the Trojans' best start to a season in at least 20 years.
STARKVILLE -- Chinwe Okorie has gone from sitting and watching to being able to do everything the rest of her teammates on the Mississippi State women's basketball can do.
STEENS -- Greg Watkins feels like he is in a similar position. A year ago, his Columbus Christian Academy football team was poised to win its first district championship in 11-man football. All it had to do was beat Deer Creek Academy at home. Unfortunately, Columbus Christian couldn't realize its goal in a 28-26 loss that featured five lead changes and two ties.
STARKVILLE -- Beniquez Brown wasn't fooled. Early in the first quarter of Mississippi State 48-31 victory against Texas A&M, Brown, waited patiently as quarterback Kenny Hill approached the line of scrimmage for a critical fourth-and-1 inside MSU's 20-yard line.
AUBURN, Ala. -- Auburn's defense has improved dramatically since the last time the Tigers faced Dak Prescott. Then again, so has Prescott. That was long before the 6-foot-2, 230-pound star for No. 3 Mississippi State emerged as the Southeastern Conference's hottest quarterback and the biggest challenge the second-ranked Tigers have faced this season.
1. MSU beats Ole Miss in Governor's Cup thriller COLLEGE SPORTS
2. New Hope softball opens playoff series with win over Pontotoc HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
3. New Hope's Speed signs with Itawamba C.C. HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
4. Caledonia softball team falls to Tishomingo County HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
5. MSU Notebook: Hit streak ends for New Hope's Golson COLLEGE SPORTS