October 12, 2015 4:00:37 PM
As the calendar hits October, it is time for some really great high school football.
Region play is about to intensify for some regions. For others, the second season actually begins this Friday night. We will quickly learn if Noxubee County and Aberdeen can take advantage of new life in region play. Can Columbus and Starkville continue fast starts? Can New Hope and West Point bounce back from tough losses.
Meanwhile in the academy ranks, Starkville Academy is feeling good after its win over rival Heritage Academy. Oak Hill Academy and Columbus Christian are looking to take the next step inside their district races.
Here are some winners for Week Seven...
Columbus at Tupelo
Columbus started region play off on a strong note with a come-from-behind 23-21 home win over DeSoto Central. The Falcons shut out the Jaguars in the second half but were not assured victory until a Chris Taylor field goal in the closing minutes.
Columbus is now 3-2 overall. However, the Falcons have not won on the road yet. Reversing that trend will be critical if the Falcons are to make the playoffs. Winning at Tupelo would be a good start to getting that going.
Tupelo has struggled at times this year. A lot of young faces have made it hard for the Golden Wave to enjoy consistency of offense. If the Falcons can not turn the ball over and can forget they are on the road, 2-0 in region play is likely.
Columbus 24, Tupelo 20
Northwest Rankin at Starkville
Northwest Rankin turned some heads by opening the season with three straight wins. There is little doubt that the new coaching staff has the Cougars pointed on the right direction. However, sneaking up on people in non-region play is a little different than winning at Starkville.
After opening region play with a convincing win at Callaway, it is safe to say Starkville is ready to firmly make its present felt in the Class 6A, Region 2 race. Again the schedule is top-heavy with the really big opponents coming at the end of the card.
In the meanwhile, Starkville keeps rolling.
Starkville 35, Northwest Rankin 0
Clarksdale at West Point
In the last two meetings, Clarksdale and West Point have played a pair of Class 5A, Region 1 contests decided by stellar defense.
This season, the teams meet Friday night in Clay County. Clarksdale comes to town fresh off a 20-14 victory over New Hope. West Point dropped a 50-28 decision on the road at Oxford. While the Green Wave can be disappointed that a victory was not earned, the disappointment should be short-lived because West Point did a lot of things well in defeat.
If West Point can continue to produce more than 400 yards per contest, it should have not problem winning the other six region games and earning a rematch with Oxford in the postseason.
The road to get back to that potential rematch begins with this contest.
West Point 35, Clarksdale 14
Kosciusko at Noxubee County
Noxubee County returns home trying to snap a four-game losing streak in its Class 4A, Region 4 opener.
With fast starts by Louisville, Kosciusko and Houston, it appears this region race will be more competitive than it has been in years past. At the same time, if Noxubee County can find its second gear, then things should fall in place quite nicely for the Tigers. Obviously, the team is capable of another state championship run.
Kosciusko should present quite a challenge for Noxubee County. However, the Tigers playing at home, should bounce back. A fast start will be key to getting the good times rolling again.
Noxubee County 28, Koscuiusko 26
Heritage Academy at West Lowndes
West Lowndes will put its four-game win streak on the line Friday night when it steps outside of MSHAA play to welcome county rival Heritage Academy.
West Lowndes has grown up a lot since losing to Starkville Academy earlier in the season. Now, the Panthers will try to extend its win streak against the Patriots. Both teams have been looking for more offensive consistency.
These games are good for the area. Look for a competitive contest, with the winner of the turnover battle winning the game.
West Lowndes 26, Heritage Academy 20
Elsewhere in the area...
Center Hill 30, New Hope 28 ... Louisville 34, Leake Central 20 ... Aberdeen 42, Mooreville 0 ... Itawamba AHS 30, Amory 27 ... East Webster 20, Calhoun City 16 ... Hamilton 34, Biggersville 32 ... Starkville Academy 28, French Camp 6 ... Oak Hill Academy 34, Columbus Christian 0 ... Calhoun Academy 34, Central Academy 12 ... Winston Academy 14, Hartfield Academy 7 ... Hebron Christian 42, Calvary Christian 0 ... Aliceville 34, Greene County 12 ... Sulligent 24, Cherokee 21 ... Hale County 28, Lamar County 21 ... South Lamar 21, Marion County 14 ... Pickens County 42, Hatch 0 ... Marengo Academy 24, Pickens Academy 22
Last Week: 16 - 4 (80.0 percent)
For the Season: 90 - 30 (75.0 percent)