September 14, 2015 7:34:15 PM
A wet area forecast could play a role in the fourth Friday night of the prep football season.
After dodging a few storms in the opening week, the weather has been much kinder. However, heavy rain is on the docket this week. Look for that to benefit running games and to make passing games iffy at best.
As we count down to the start of region play in most of the state's classes, we have some enjoyable rivalry games this upcoming week. Travel safely and enjoy the games.
Here now are some winners...
Columbus at West Point
Two of the area's best running games square off as Kendre Conner and Kylin Hill lead Columbus against Marcus Murphy and Chris Calvert from West Point.
While both teams like to run the football almost exclusively, the game may be won in the trenches where two outstanding defensive lines duke it out. Passing will be at a minimum so line play will be critical for both sides.
Columbus won 41-14 two years ago at West Point. West Point returned the favor with a 35-7 road win last year. This year's contest will be tighter and should be more much more compelling. Turnovers will be key. The ability to break a long run will help, too.
West Point 21, Columbus 14
KIPP Collegiate at Starkville High
Starkville High looks for its third straight win when KIPP Collegiate (Tennessee) comes to Yellow Jacket Field.
KIPP plays in Class 1A in that state and only has 39 players on the team's roster. Starkville will use this game as a chance to get some younger players some look. It will be interesting to see how the backups on offense perform. An open date follows before region play. Look for Starkville enter that stretch riding high with a win streak and shutout streak intact.
Starkville High 54, KIPP Collegiate 0
Noxubee County at Meridian
Noxubee County takes the field in the rare position of trying to bounce back from a loss. The Tigers saw their 13-game, two-season win streak snapped with a loss at Aledo (Texas). In that contest, the Class 5A power stymied the Tigers' offense. It will be interesting to see if things go back to normal this week.
One of the favorites in Class 6A, Meridian has opened the season with three straight losses - all by a touchdown or less. While the region games are all that really matters, Meridian would like to find some type of confidence before entering that stretch of the schedule.
Making the big play and not making the turnover will be important for a pair of ultra-talented teams badly in need of a confidence lift.
Noxubee County 21, Meridian 12
Calhoun City at Aberdeen
Aberdeen carries the momentum of back-to-back last-second wins over New Hope and Amory into this week's huge showdown with Class 2A power Calhoun City.
While the Bulldogs have 22 seniors on the roster, the team has been thrilled by the growth of first-year starter Tramonte Prather at quarterback. The ability to engineer fourth-quarter success will only add to the confidence level of Prather and the rest of the Bulldogs.
Calhoun City has several starters back from last season's Class 2A North State championship teams. Aberdeen is known to play high-scoring games and is no reason to not think this contest will not follow that trend.
Aberdeen 42, Calhoun City 40
Starkville Academy at Lamar School
Starkville Academy has impressed while winning its first three games of the year. The biggest challenge now awaits with Class AAAA foe Lamar School.
A year ago, Starkville Academy knocked off Lamar School in the regular season and in the Class AAA, Division II playoffs. It is a safe bet revenge will on the mind of the Raiders.
Starkville Academy will need to continue to grow up to return to the state championship game. This will serve as another major step in the growing process.
Starkville Academy 34, Lamar School 27
Caledonia 34, Okolona 6 ... West Lowndes 48, Biggersville 12 ... Amory 28, New Albany 27 ... Louisville 34, Philadelphia 6 ... East Webster 21, Houston 20 ... Heritage Academy 34, Lee Academy 28 ... Oak Hill Academy 20, West Memphis Christian 6 ... Tupelo Christian Prep 24, Columbus Christian 22 ... Hebron Christian 42, Central Academy 12 ... Wayne Academy 14, Winston Academy 12 ... Victory Christian 34, Cahawba Christian 26 ... Aliceville 24, Lamar County 12 ... Sulligent 14, Red Bay 12 ... Berry 34, South Lamar 20 ... Pickens County 34, Marion 12 ... Clarke Prep 24, Pickens Academy 20
Last Week: 15 - 4 (78.9 percent)
For Season: 42 - 19 (71.1 percent)
3. Ho ho ho -- Downtown Open House heralds the holidays ENTERTAINMENT