• Aberdeen’s done went and found itself a defense, friends. (Note to English teachers: That was worded thusly for effect.) Through their first eight games, the Bulldogs yielded an average of 26.6 points per game, including 41 to both South Pontotoc – which finished last in Region 2-3A – and Louisville – first place, state title contender – in consecutive weeks.
However, over its last three ballgames, Aberdeen is giving up just 10.0 per game, with wins of 45-0 (West Oktibbeha), 42-18 (Amory) and 14-12 (Booneville), the last one coming in a Class 3A first-round playoff game. Take that for what it’s worth, but the postseason is certainly the best time to lock down on folks. Up next: Byhalia, which is scoring 35.8 points per game.
• Ripley running back Jaquise Cook has been dubbed “Wardog” by his coach, Mac McCurry. Actually, McCurry used that term to describe him after Friday’s game, and Ripley stat man Jim Pannell has made it an official nickname. Cook rushed for a career-high 264 yards and three touchdowns in a 28-14 playoff win over Amory; he has 1,445 yards and 23 TDs this season.
Anyway, the Ripley Wardogs, er, Tigers are 11-0 for only the third time in team history, having also done it in 1981 and 1991. 12-0? Never happened for them. Thanks to Mr. Pannell for that info.
• West Point and Oxford will meet Friday in the Class 4A second round, and we all know how good the Green Wave’s defense is. But Oxford has shown lately to be pretty tough, too. New Albany was averaging 33.5 points per game coming into O-Town last week, but the Bulldogs managed zero offensive points and 116 total yards in a 35-7 loss.
Since a 62-40 win against North Panola on Oct. 12, Oxford is allowing 8.5 ppg. This week, I smell a 7-6 ballgame.
• Remember when Okolona was kickin’ tail and takin’ names? Well, the Chieftains need to start doing that again. After starting the year 5-0, they lost three of four before closing the regular season with wins over Biggersville and Thrasher, who are a combined 4-18. Coach Ken Byars’ boys host Greenville-St. Joseph (7-3) this Friday in 1A first-round action.