WEST POINT -- Chris Craven knows the enormity of the task that his Oak Hill Academy football team faces Friday night.
There's no disguising the pain of a loss your coach calls "heartbreaking."
WEST POINT - Starkville High School football coach Ricky Woods sees a lot of similarities between West Point High School and his old team at South Panola High School.
MACON -- Focus has been a word that has been on Tyrone Shorter's mind a lot this week.
STARKVILLE -- Opposing teams know they have to stop senior wide receiver A.J. Brown if they want to shut down the Starkville High School football team. But that hasn't happened in the first two weeks of the season, as Brown has made 30 catches for 339 yards and one touchdown. "Our expectations are high for him," Yellow Jacket wide receivers coach Willie Gillespie said. "He's one of the better guys in the country, so everything he does doesn't surprise us. We're always trying to raise the bar for him, and he always meets that challenge."
MACON -- After a sloppy first half, Tyrone Shorter needed someone to give the Noxubee County High School football team an edge. Deveon Ball was happy to oblige. As Columbus entered the red zone early in the third quarter, Ball saw the football thrown to the flat and broke for it. "It's indescribable with words," a smiling Ball said after the game. "I saw the ball in the air and I went and got it. I'm a DB, and that's what I'm supposed to do, so I went and got the ball and tried to take it back for six."
Inside the Game: Mooreville-Caledonia
CALEDONIA -- Zion Ford was just trying to make something happen. But don't let Ford's use of an innocuous phrase diminish the impact of the game-changing moment he delivered Friday night. All the Caledonia High School junior running back needed to do was use his fingertips -- not once, but twice. Ford's juggling act on a pass from quarterback Spencer Unruh went from a possible missed opportunity to a 53-yard touchdown pass in the snap of the fingers and helped push Caledonia to a 31-7 victory against Mooreville in its home opener.
Inside the Game: Oxford-Starkville
STARKVILLE -- Adverse situations. That's the only thing the Starkville High School football team has seen in the first two weeks of the season. Nothing has come easy for the Yellow Jackets, who have had to overcome deficits in their first two games. Last week, Starkville fell behind Noxubee County 20-7 before tying the game and being forced to overtime. Noxubee County earned a 26-20 victory in double overtime when Starkville senior wide receiver A.J. Brown couldn't secure a pass that would have tied the game in the second overtime.
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.
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2. Oak HIll Academy looks to stop skid in series with Heritage Academy HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
3. New Hope looks for continued improvement against Columbus HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
4. No. 1 EMCC faces No. 4 Co-Lin in MACJC showdown COLLEGE SPORTS
5. Game of Week: Starkville, West Point renew HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS