August 26, 2014 8:36:41 PM
If the opening week is any indication, this could be an outstanding season for area prep football teams.
Starkville, Aberdeen, Starkville Academy, West Point, Oak Hill Academy and Columbus Christian Academy all started the season on very strong notes with impressive victories.
It appears the talent level is on the upswing this year and state championship weekend should be outstanding at Davis Wade Stadium in Starkville.
Now with Week 1 in the books, let's look what is on top for Week 2....
Starkville at Oxford
Oxford can enjoy the next 48 hours as the state's top-ranked team by the Clarion-Ledger. The Chargers opened the season with 26-21 win at Jackson Prep.
While it is true that Oxford beat Starkville 35-24 last season in Starkville, it is also true that Starkville has seen a tremendous amount of growth since that time.
A year older and wiser look for Starkville to keep its perfect record intact.
Starkville 35, Oxford 21
South Panola at West Point (Thursday)
West Point opened the season on a positive note with hard-fought 21-16 win over Grenada.
Apparently, the Green Wave is much improved on defense. On offense, it will be a work in progress as coach Chris Chambless looks for the right combinations.
This series has actually produced quite a number of good games. Though not convinced West Point has the horses, let's go ahead and predict another thriller.
South Panola 28, West Point 21
Noxubee County at Columbus
Perhaps the area's most under-rated game this weekend will take place at Columbus as Randal Montgomery makes his debut as the new coach of the Falcons.
Even though Columbus is short on front-line talent, Montgomery has made it no secret that he intends for his team to compete this season.
On the other hand, Noxubee County needs to totally forget about last week's loss to Starkville and instead focus on the fact that they can still be one of the teams to beat in Class 4A.
Noxubee County 22, Columbus 20
New Hope at Aberdeen
Kris Pickle makes his debut as coach at New Hope.
New Hope has been scrambling to put in its new offense and defense, while finding enough bodies to have the ample depth needed to play Class 5A ball.
Despite a lot of youth on the roster, the Aberdeen offense has looked very good in its exhibition and season-opening wins. The Bulldogs will again be looking to run wild.
Aberdeen 34, New Hope 13
West Lowndes at Heritage Academy
West Lowndes is riding high after a dominating season-opening performance in a win over Montgomery County.
Under Barrett Donahoe, Heritage Academy has always made great strides from week one to week two.
After a frustrating loss to Caledonia, those strides will be needed in a hurry.
Heritage Academy 28, West Lowndes 6
Caledonia at Hamilton
Once again, it looks like we have another under-valued matchup on the horizon at the Lions' den.
Keshon Heard has made Hamilton a force to be reckoned with. Strong quarterback play from Byron Butler could also aid the Lions' cause.
Caledonia looks for a 2-0 start, which will be great for a team which lost seven of its final eight games last season.
Caledonia 34, Hamilton 28
Victory Christian 44, Ezekiel Academy 12 ... Amory 24, Senatobia 23 ... East Webster 32, Noxapater 6 ... Louisville 44, Wilkinson County 12 ... McAdams 48, East Oktibbeha 12 ... Benton County 32, West Oktibbeha 6 ... Starkville Academy 28, East Rankin Academy 7 ... Oak Hill Academy 41, Marshall Academy 40 ... Columbus Christian 24, Winona Christian 14 ... Central Academy 34, Strider Academy 12 ... Hebron Christian 28, Humphreys Academy 6 ... Lamar School 28, Winston Academy 26 ... Pickens Academy 21, Patrician Academy 14 ... Oakman 24, South Lamar 6 ... Pickens County 24, Greensboro 23 ... Hamilton (Ala.) 44, Sulligent 14 ... Lamar County 34, Brilliant 14 ... Aliceville 48, Wilcox Central 6
Last Week: 15-1 (93.8 percent)
For Season: 15-1 (93.8 percent)
4. Ho ho ho -- Downtown Open House heralds the holidays ENTERTAINMENT