High School Football Playoffs

By Gene Phelps and John Wilbert/NEMS Daily Journal

(All kickoffs at 7 p.m.)

Tupelo (7-3)at Madison Central (10-1)
– This week: Tupelo looks to rebound for last week’s 43-17 Division 1-6A loss to Olive Branch in its final regular season game. Madison Central knocked off Greenville-Weston 29-19 in its final regular season game. The winner of this first-round playoffs game advances to second round against the Southaven-Northwest Rankin winner.
– Recent history: Madison Central defeated THS 24-21 in 2008 while the Golden Wave defeated the Jaguars 21-3 in 2007. In both games, the road teams won.
– Tupelo: RB Ashton Shumpert has 199 carries for 1,296 yards, 13 TD. … QB Luke Hobson has completed 57 of 122 passes for 1,117 yards, 9 TD, 3 INT. … WR Terrell Pinson has 27 receptions for 700 yards, 8 TD. … LB Damion Dillard recorded 11 tackles in last week’s loss to Olive Branch. … “We’re going to have to get a good pass rush going; they like to air it out,” DE P.J. Jones said. “Their running back, Joe Price, is a good one. We’re going to have to play ball.”
– Madison Central: The Jaguars, led by former Amory and Northeast CC coach Bobby Hall, lost to South Panola in last season’s North state finals. … QB Drew Rowell has rushed for 478 yards, passed for 1,096 yards and accounted for 22 TD – 14 passing. He has thrown only 1 interception. “They are a low turnover football team,” THS coach David Bradberry said. … RB Joe Price had rushed for 959 yards, 10 TD. He had a season-high 251-yard, 5-TD effort in win against Warren Central. … WR Tobias Singleton is considered one of the state’s top recruits. He has 38 catches for 579 yards, 9 TD. … LB Stephen Rogers has recorded 66 tackles while DB Dehendrick Thompson has 4 INT.

Baldwyn (7-5) at Coahoma Co. (10-1)
– This week: Baldwyn won its fifth straight game last week, defeating West Lowndes, 58-24, in the opening round of the 2A state playoffs. Coahoma County won its opener, 26-6, against Delta rival Greenville O’Bannon. The winner of this game advances to the quarterfinals to play the West Bolivar-Eupora winner.
– Recent history: The team have not played the last five seasons.
– Baldwyn: RB/LB Tyler Estes is the Bearcats’ star. He has 187 rushes for 1,156 yards, 18 TD, and had recorded a team-high 140 tackles. He has help in the backfield from RB Lorenzo Hill, 813 yards rushing, 3 TD, and RB Bradley Boose, 563 yards rushing, 5 TD. … WR Seth Swinney, 25 receptions, 346 yards, 6 TD, and WR Reggie Patterson, 22 catches, 317 yards, 4 TD, are big-play makers. … QB Walker Wildmon has completed 57 of 101 passes for 675 yards, 9 TD, 4 INT.
– Coahoma County: The defense has posted five shutouts this season, including a 60-0 win against Strayhorn and a 54-0 victory over Riverside. … QB Adrian Hunter has completed 33 of 65 passes for 799 yards, 12 TD, 6 INT. He had rushed for 741 yards, 14 TD. … RB Cedric Blue has 233 rushes for 1,764 yards, 15 TD. … WR Cartarvious Brown has 10 catches for 344 yards, 5 TD. … LB Damian Brown has a team-high 165 tackles.

Leland (9-3) at Aberdeen (11-1)
– This week: Leland defeated Palmer, 18-14, last week in the first round of the Class 3A state playoffs. Aberdeen kicked off its quest to return to the state championship game with a 50-6 win against Kossuth. The winner plays the Belmont-East Side winner next week in the state quarterfinals.
– Recent history: The team have not played the last five seasons.
– Leland: QB Davantay Overton rushed for 1 TD and passed for another last week in the win against Palmer. … WR Nicholas Mosby caught the TD pass for 8 yards. … RB Jamaros Barnes rushed for a 15-yard TD last week. … LBs Broderick Fordham and Justin Bell lead the team in tackles.
– Aberdeen: RB Victor Hodges had 9 rushed for 145 yards and 3 TD against Kossuth. His longest covered 44 yards. … RBs Aaron McMillian and Brandon Smith, and QB Desmond Jones, had TD runs in the playoffs opener. … DB Jonnie Wilson intercepted 2 passes last week. … DL/TE Channing Ward, a junior, is considered one the state’s top prospects.

Shannon (8-3) at Greenwood (11-1)
– This week: Shannon was a 48-26 winner over Senatobia last week in the first round of the 4A state playoffs. Greenwood defeated Amory 28-7 in the first round. The winner plays the Noxubee County-Center Hill winner next week in the state quarterfinals.
– Recent history: The team have not played the last five seasons.
– Shannon: QB Legilbert Bogan has completed 64 of 186 passes for 1,252 yards, 9 TD, 7 INT. He was 13 of 17 for 287 yards last week. … RB Bodarius Taylor has 131 rushes for 874 yards, 10 TD. … WR Keyon Lowery has 36 receptions for 730 yards, 4 TD. … SS Marcus Thornton has 83 tackles, 3 INT. … LB Shawn Goree has team-high 112 tackles.
– Greenwood: QB Kwadre Griggs has passes for 1,000-plus yards, 13 TD. … RB Cedric Matthews averages 117 yards per game rushing. … WR Raheem Sanders has 29 catches for 446 yards, 5 TD. … DB Tre Jones leads team with 103 tackles and 2 INT. … During one streak this season, Greenwood defeated Humphreys County (42-3), Yazoo County (42-0) and Madison-Ridgeland Academy (42-0).

East Side (10-2) at Belmont (11-0)
– This week: East Side, the second-place team out of Division 3-3A, will take on the Daily Journal’s second-ranked Class 3A team, Belmont, in a MHSAA second-round playoff game. Belmont, the Division 1-3A champion, opened up the playoffs with a 43-0 victory at home over South Pontotoc. East Side defeated South Delta 38-18 at home last Friday.
– Recent history: Haven’t played in the last 3 seasons.
– East Side: The Trojans’ only losses were to West Bolivar and Charleston. They beat Class 4A Shannon’s second-round playoff opponent, Greenwood, 30-20. … East Side is averaging 37.7 points per game while allowing 9.75. … The Trojans understand the importance of playing a turnover-free and penalty-less ballgame vs. Belmont, a team that doesn’t make many mistakes. “We haven’t played a clean game all year along, and we want this to be a clean game,” East Side head coach Tavares Johnson told The Bolivar Commercial.
– Belmont: The Cardinals, predominantly a Wing-T running team, have proved that they are capable of throwing the ball – and those completions aren’t just for short gains. QB Kase Smith was 3 of 7 passing for 70 yards vs. Booneville in the regular-season finale, and 2 of those completions went for 35 and 29 yards, respectively. … Belmont features three 1,000-yard rushers: Jordan Powell (1,101), Cody Sartain (1,054) and Dustin Poole (1,035). … The Cardinals’ D is holding teams to 8.09 points per game.

New Albany (12-0)at Kosciusko (7-5)
– This week: New Albany will try to get past the second round of the MHSAA Class 4A playoffs for the first time in the school’s history. Okolona head coach Calvin Aldridge, who is familiar with the Kosciusko program, expects a good ballgame between two well-coached teams in Kosciusko tonight.
– Recent history: Haven’t played in the last 3 seasons.
– New Albany: Aldridge said New Albany really punishes teams that make mistakes against them. “New Albany seems to have really turned the corner,” the Okolona coach said. “If you mess up against New Albany, they can take advantage of you.” … The Bulldogs are averaging 38.4 points per game while only allowing 8.42. … New Albany head coach Ron Price said the team’s focus this week resides on this game tonight and only this game – not on a possible matchup with the Daily Journal’s top-ranked large school, Lafayette, in next week’s quarterfinals. “We haven’t mentioned any possibilities down the road,” he said. … According to the New Albany coach, everyone’s good to go health-wise.
– Kosciusko: Price said the Whippets are predominantly a running team. “They have only thrown – as far as we can find – 33 passes this season,” he added. “They are a double-wing team and they believe in getting the ball and moving it and controlling the clock.” … Price noted that the Whippets’ offensive line appears to be physical. Kosciusko is coached by former West Lauderdale coach Stan McCain who took the Knights to the Class 4A title game with his Wing-T offense. … According to Price, the Whippets run a 3-3 stack defensively. “From what we have seen on film, they really get after it defensively,” said the New Albany coach, noting the Whippets’ physicality. However, the Bulldogs coaching staff hasn’t really seen the Whippets defend the pass on film. “We’re kind of wondering if we can throw the football on them,” Price said.

Provine (5-6) at West Point (10-1)
– This week: Provine, a tradition-rich basketball school, gets the daunting task of playing at the defending MHSAA Class 5A state champions in the first round. The winner will play either Oxford or Pearl in the quarterfinals.
– Recent history: Haven’t played in the last 3 seasons.
– Provine: West Point head coach Chris Chambless described the Rams as being a run-oriented team that loves the lead play. “They play smashmouth football and love to come right at you,” said the Green Wave coach. … According to Chambless, the Rams’ defense is very physical, especially up front, and can run. … Watch out for MLB Jadarius Hicks. “He also comes over and plays tailback, wide receiver and tight end,” Chambless added. “He plays multiple positions on offense. He’s a big key for them. It seems like he’s in on every tackle on defense. From all the film that we have seen, he was always around the ball.”
– West Point: With a number of close division games this season, Chambless said his team has adopted a “refuse-to-lose attitude.” … West Point is holding teams to 13.5 points per game. … The Green Wave will enter the playoffs without senior RB Jacoby Lee, who re-tore his ACL a couple of weeks ago. Lee first injured his knee in last year’s state semifinal game vs. New Hope. “It’s unfortunate that it happened,” Chambless said. “We need our young guys to step up for us and keep stepping up.”

Shaw (3-6) at Okolona (9-2)
– This week: Two athletic teams will meet in the first round of the MHSAA Class 1A playoffs tonight in Okolona. Shaw has the difficult task of playing at the Daily Journal’s fourth-ranked small school and the Division 1-1A champion.
– Recent history: Haven’t played in the last 3 seasons.
– Shaw: For a team that features tremendous athletes on both sides of the ball, RB Kywoun Ware stands out the most with his speed. The senior has rushed for 1,010 yards (9.10 yards per carry) and 9 TDs. However, says Okolona head coach Calvin Aldridge, their quarterback, Andre Pruitt, and any of their three running backs can hurt you. … Aldridge said the Hawks are predominantly a rushing team and operate out of the wishbone. They also feature some spread characteristics.
– Okolona: The Chieftains are on a roll after losing to Aberdeen, the Daily Journal’s top-ranked Class 3A team, on Sept. 17. In their 7-game winning streak, the Chieftains have outscored their opponents a combined 259-29. Not to mention, recorded 3 shutouts. … QB Jordan Ivy is a dual threat, throwing for 517 yards and 8 TDs and rushing for 653 yards and 10 TDs. … RB Everett Brooks leads the team in rushing with 777 yards (9.84 ypc) and 13 TDs. … WR Antwan Grady leads in receiving with 23 catches for 398 yards and 8 TDs.

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