Daily Journal Assistant Sports Editor Brad Locke talks with Mooreville head coach Kevin Austin about the Troopers chances at the playoffs and a big game Friday night with North Pontotoc. It has been a big season this year in Mooreville. Don’t forget to read all about the football action the next few days in the Daily Journal sports section. Don’t miss a snap.
Monthly Archives: October 2007
A slight change to the Tip Off the the Slam schedule. It’ll be played Saturday at the BancorpSouth Arena in Tupelo. Also, the Daily Journal basketball preview comes out Friday. Yay!
2 p.m. – Olive Branch vs. Tupelo (girls)
All remaining games are boys:
3:30 – Piney Woods vs. Grenada
5 – St. Stanislaus vs. Olive Branch
6:30 – Alcorn Central vs. Myrtle
8 – Nettleton vs. Tupelo
It’s Halloween, so I’ve got some scary games to pick. Could make for some ugly records. Was pretty ugly last week, but reb7 was victorious once again. Here are the results:
• reb7: 8-2
• djt27: 7-3
• dsu21: 5-5
• tc fan: 5-5
• tupelopix: 5-5
Now, for this week’s games:
• Starkville (6-3) at South Panola (9-0)
• Pontotoc (6-3) at Itawamba AHS (8-1)
• Clarksdale (7-1) at Oxford (6-3)
• Saltillo (0-9) at Center Hill (1-8)
• Aberdeen (6-3) at Amory (3-6)
• Ripley (9-0) at Booneville (6-3)
• Mooreville (5-4) at North Pontotoc (2-7)
• Walnut (9-0) at Baldwyn (7-2)
• Hamilton (4-5) at Mantachie (4-4)
• Vardaman (6-3) at Smithville (6-3)
Notes, numbers and sidelights from Week 9 (Week 10 for academies):
• Itawamba AHS had best guard against the proverbial letdown. Coming off a huge win over Shannon on Friday, the Indians must next face a red-hot Pontotoc squad. Of course, this game means nothing for IAHS as far as the Region 1-4A standings – the title is in hand. But it’ll mean a lot to Pontotoc, which has won four straight and is averaging 38.3 ppg over the last three weeks.
The Warriors (6-3, 3-2) need a win to assure themselves a playoff berth. The only way they miss out is if they and Tishomingo County (6-3, 3-2) both lose. That would put Tish and New Albany (3-6, 3-3) in the playoffs based on a points tie-breaker: Tishomingo beat Pontotoc 12-7; Pontotoc beat New Albany 29-26; New Albany beat Tishomingo 28-24. So Pontotoc is minus-2, while Tish and New Albany are both plus-1. However, if Pontotoc loses and Tish wins, Pontotoc’s in based on its win over New Albany. Got it?
• Starkville suddenly finds itself in the race for the Region 1-5A crown with a 14-7 upset of Olive Branch. Now the Yellowjackets have the joyous task of traveling to Batesville to take on first-place South Panola, which is going for 70 straight.
“This was a win against a big-time program, and now we are going to play for the top spot in the region,” coach Bill Lee said Friday. “Our goal is to win the region championship, and now we can go and fight for it next week.”
• This Friday’s game between Ripley and Booneville will decide the Region 1-3A title. It’ll be a heavyweight battle – and that’s just the coaches.
Ripley’s Mac McCurry – 201 career wins – will square off against Booneville’s Jim Drewry – 327 (state’s all-time record). McCurry, in his 21st season as a head coach, has won 14 division championships, was Tennessee Coach of the Year in 1988, and is 30-5 at Ripley. Drewry, in his 43rd year as a head coach, owns who knows how many division titles (I’ve got that info somewhere) and has won three state championships. McCurry is still seeking state title No. 1.
• Five area teams could make the playoffs despite losing records: Amory (3-6), Hamilton (4-4), Houston (2-7), Mantachie (4-5), and New Albany (3-6). Mantachie and Hamilton play each other this week, but both are already in.
Sorry I was late with this post. Been hitting it hard this morning on the basketball preview, which comes out Friday, by the way. So to recap the Large School rankings: 1. West Point; 2. IAHS; 3. Tupelo; 4. Starkville; 5. Shannon.
I wasn’t going to punish West Point for that one-point loss to Shannon on opening night; the Green Wave has beaten some really good teams since then. As I rolled around in my head where to place Itawamba, I had them anywhere from first to fourth. No. 2 finally seemed best – it’s hard to explain why – though having Shannon that far back seems odd. Then again, Tupelo and Starkville have done nothing to deserve demotion. Besides, the gap between each of the top 5 teams in this area is infinitesimal.
I was particularly impressed with Starkville’s win over Olive Branch. Next up is South Panola. I’d say the Yellowjackets have easily played the toughest schedule of any team in Northeast Mississippi.
So there it is. More fun to come this week, I’m sure.
Brad Locke and John Pitts look back at big night of high school action in Northeast Mississippi. Read all about it in Saturday’s Daily Journal. Thanks for joining us.
OK. Now what? With a 29-28 defeat of Shannon, Itawamba AHS has shaken up the Daily Journal’s Large School rankings. Should the Indians be the new No. 1? Or should that honor go to No. 2 West Point? The Green Wave’s lone loss was to Shannon – 36-35 in the season opener.
If you want to use pure logic, IAHS should definitely be No. 1, since it beat Shannon, which beat West Point (which, by the way, beat No. 4 Starkville, which just beat the No. 2-ranked 5A team in the state, Olive Branch). Logic, of course, is a scarce commodity in high school football, which is what makes it so wonderful. Heck, who thought Mooreville would be on the verge of the playoffs after losing three straight Region 1-3A games?
What makes this whole thing tougher is that no other top-5 teams lost, but you can’t knock Shannon out completely for a one-point setback. I’m afraid No. 5 Lafayette County seems the likeliest candidate for removal. The thing is, the difference between the top seven or eight large schools in this area is quite small; a lot of parity. Maybe I should expand the rankings.
So, give me your thoughts. The new rankings will be decided upon Sunday and released in Monday’s editions.