STARKVILLE -- If you ask Starkville Academy first-year head football coach Chase Nicholson to define his offensive philosophy, he won't hesitate to tell you he believes in running the football. That's exactly what Starkville Academy did Friday night in a 28-8 victory against West Lowndes at J.E. Logan Field.
LOUISVILLE -- There was no secret to the game plan West Point High School football coach Chris Chambless had for his team's season opener against Louisville on Friday night. "We played West Point football," Chambless said, referring to the pounding running game that saw West Point rush for 412 yards in a 46-7 victory. "That's our forte', and that's what we do. We just don't want to get away from it. "We have got our kids brainwashed into it, and it's what they like to do. It's something we like to do and we work hard at it."
WEST POINT -- Collins Brown can't remember a more dominating defensive performance in his playing career at Oak Hill Academy. But Brown wasn't surprised by the Raiders' effort Friday night. While all coaches and players incorporate film study into their preparation, Brown is adamant the Raiders rely upon it heavily, partly because they have to; the Raiders only have 16 players on their roster.
The Aberdeen High School football team flipped the script here Friday against New Hope. After taking a 35-8 pounding at home a year ago, Aberdeen gained a measure of revenge with a last-second 32-27 victory against New Hope.
MERIDIAN -- Turnovers hurt the Heritage Academy football team dearly Friday night. A 100-yard fumble return touchdown might have been the biggest turnover in a disastrous first half as Heritage Academy dropped a 47-7 decision to Lamar School.
Inside the Game: Columbus-Noxubee County
MACON -- Regardless of the score, Columbus High School senior free safety Hezekiah Manigo signed up for four quarters of work Friday night. "This team will always keep battling," Manigo said. "That has become our battle cry this year. We are a different team. On defense, we take pride in working hard for four quarters. We didn't do our job right in the second half. It doesn't matter how many things go wrong in a game. We have to keep fighting to keep the other team out of the end zone.
Friday's, Thursday's Mississippi Prep Football Scores
Friday's, Thursday's Alabama Prep Football Scores
MACON -- Noxubee County High School senior defensive end Jeffery Simmons has made his name as one of the state's best defensive players. On Friday night, the Columbus High defense was on the receiving end of the 6-foot-4, 270-pound Simmons' offensive punch. Simmons scored two second-half touchdowns to help Noxubee County pull away to a 25-8 victory against Columbus.
Between the weather and the emotion surrounding the squad's season opener, Josh Thacker and the Pickens Academy football team had one of the longest Friday nights of Week 1. In addition to waiting out a lightning delay and a power outage, the Pirates had to deal with the fact they were without assistant coach Ted Copland, who is battling cancer and was forced to miss his first Friday night in 46 years as a coach.
Barrett Donahoe scheduled preseason scrimmages and jamborees to prepare the Heritage Academy football team for the 2015 season. Following games against Pillow Academy, Raymond High School, and Simpson Academy, Donahoe hoped the Patriots were primed and ready to face good competition in the regular season. That move paid off last week against Columbus Christian in a 48-0 victory in the season opener for both teams.
STARKVILLE -- Starkville High School running backs coach Carlos Kemp first saw Avery Brown as a sophomore. Brown was a member of the scout team, but he used that opportunity to show Kemp, the other coaches, and his teammates what was to come. "When he got in, he ran hard and I saw then he was going to be pretty good his senior year," Kemp said. "He's just the type of person that comes to work each day, and he's going to give all he's got every day."
MACON -- Tyrone Shorter couldn't help think here we go again. Last season, three interceptions and numerous missed opportunities played a role in the Noxubee County High School's 51-19 loss to Starkville in the season opener for both teams. The point total was the most surrendered by the Tigers since 2006.
If you didn't know any better, the statistics surely would have corresponded to a victory. New Hope High School football Kris Pickle even sounded like he didn't believe what happened as he ticked off the numbers -- 350-360 total yards, more than 200 yards passing, 100 yards rushing, 18 first downs -- from his team's 20-3 loss to Louisville in its season opener last week.
STARKVILLE -- Ricky Woods knew from an early age where he wanted to be on Friday nights. His love for football came from all of the time he spent at practices and games with his father. Seeing so many games and packed stadiums on Friday nights ignited a passion in Woods that drove him to become a teacher and a coach.
New Hope High School senior catcher Will Godfrey quickly recalls his favorite memory from the 2015 prep baseball season. "The home run against Oxford was my No. 1 memory," Godfrey said. "It was amazing I was the one that hit it. I was happy. However, I would have been happy had any other player on the team hit it as well. That was just the type of team we had. Everybody was in it together."
MACON -- Dominant.
CALEDONIA -- In 2014, a game of word association involving the Caledonia High School football team was easy.
1. Pickens Academy playing for assistant coach Copland HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
2. Noxubee County beats Columbus; Starkville defeats Oxford HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
3. Friday's, Thursday's Mississippi Prep Football Scores HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
4. Roberts shines at QB in first start for EMCC COLLEGE SPORTS
5. No. 1 EMCC rolls Southwest to extend winning streak COLLEGE SPORTS