November 3, 2014 9:12:50 PM
Welcome to November.
By now, teams have a firm grasp on what it will take to win a state championship.
Several area teams have already begun their postseason quests, while others will do that starting next Friday.
So what we have this weekend are some outstanding matchups. Now is the time to take your game to another level.
With that in mind, here are some picks on a different level.
Good luck to all area teams in the playoffs.
Columbus at Warren Central
When coach Randal Montgomery took over the Columbus football program, he vowed his first team would win.
Well it may have taken a little bit longer than most wanted but the Falcons are indeed winning. Columbus enters Friday night's showdown with Warren Central having won back-to-back games in Class 6A, Region 2 play.
When Columbus was 1-6, a playoff berth seemed impossible. Now, Columbus is very much alive in the quest for the fourth playoff spot from the region. The Falcons could even get with in a loss and some help around the region.
While Columbus has grown up a lot this season, another huge step will have to be taken for the squad to compete with the region's second-best defense.
Warren Central 21, Columbus 7
Starkville at Clinton
Starkville survived its major challenge of the season last Friday when it got past Warren Central 27-17 in a battle for the Class 6A, Region 2 play.
Through two-plus quarters, the high-flying Starkville offense was grounded. The Yellow Jackets then threw a switch and scored 27 points in the final 14 minutes, 25 seconds of play.
This week, Starkville goes on the road and faces Clinton in a battle for the region championship - each team is 6-0 in region play. Both teams have already secured home-field advantage in the playoffs.
This will be another challenge for Starkville. Quite honestly, coach Jamie Mitchell has to be thrilled with back-to-back tough games for his team entering the playoffs.
Starkville 28, Clinton 10
Starkville Academy at Pillow Academy
Starkville Academy sent a huge statement with to the rest of the MAIS ranks with its first-ever win over Jackson Academy Friday night at home.
The victory allowed the Volunteers to move to 9-1. It also allowed Starkville Academy to wrap up home-field advantage in the MAIS Class AAA, Division II playoffs. It appears these Volunteers have what it takes to get back to the state championship game for the first time since 2011.
Pillow Academy is 7-3. The Mustangs were eliminated from postseason consideration last week and now simply will be playing for Senior Night pride.
A one-touchdown loss to Madison-Ridgeland Academy is the only thing keeping Starkville Academy from a perfect regular season. Still, a 10-win regular season will be a nice consolation prize.
Then, it is on to the playoffs.
Starkville Academy 28, Pillow Academy 7
Caledonia at Ripley
Caledonia returns to the MHSAA Class 4A playoffs for the first time since 2005. To say the Confederates are excited about it would be a huge understatement.
Coach Andy Crotwell made a playoff appearance his No. 1 goal after taking over the Confederates prior to the 2013 season.
Caledonia turned heads by putting up some points against a soft non-region schedule. That was then followed by back-to-back Class 4A, Region 4 wins to start the region slate. Caledonia then shook off a two-game losing streak to beat Leake Central to qualify.
The first-round will be a tall one. Ripley is 8-3 and a handful at home.
It will be interesting to see how the Confederates perform on the big stage.
Ripley 34, Caledonia 20
West Point 44, Lewisburg 12 ... New Hope 34, Saltillo 20 ... Noxapater 44, West Lowndes 12 ... Coffeeville 44, Hamilton 0 ... Ethel 28, East Oktibbeha 20 ... Nanih Waiya 52, West Okitbbeha 6 ... Madison-Ridgeland Academy 31, Heritage Academy 14 ... Noxubee County 24, Senatobia 0 ... Cleveland 34, Amory 6 ... Aberdeen 34, North Panola 24 ... Louisville 52, Holly Springs 6 ... East Webster 34, Strayhorn 6 ... Trinity 34, Columbus Christian 20 ... Sharkey-Issaquena 34, Hebron Christian 0 ... Victory Christian 54, Tuscaloosa Christian 48 ... Lamar County 28, Opp 26 ... Aliceville 42, Geneva 6 ... Sulligent 28, Randolph County 27 ... Pickens County 34, Flomation 12 ... South Lamar 28, Valley Head 21 ... Edgewood Academy 42, Pickens Academy 6
Last Week: 20-3 (87.0 percent)
For Season: 204-39 (84.0 percent)