All kickoffs at 7 p.m.
Ackerman (13-0) at East Webster (7-6)
- Playoff seeds: Ackerman (5-0) is the top seed out of Division 2-2A, while East Webster (1-4) is the fourth seed out of the same division.
- Rankings: Ackerman was ranked No. 2 in the state’s 2A classification by The Associated Press entering this month. East Webster was ranked fifth in the Journal small-school rankings.
- This week: East Webster’s reward for beating Calhoun City last week? A home game against a 2A juggernaut , which has shut out its opponents six times this season, including East Webster in a stretch of five consecutive shutouts.
- Recent history: Ackerman beat the Wolverines 31-0 in Maben on Oct. 9.
- Ackerman: The Indians are scoring 31.9 points per game while only allowing 4.54. … QB Andrew Furr has completed 59 of 130 passes for 1,116 yards, 14 TDs and 4 INTs. He has also rushed for 7 TDs. … RB/WR John Cummings has 109 carries for 721 yards and 12 TDs. He also has 28 receptions for 580 yards and 7 TDs.
- East Webster: The Wolverines are averaging 21.8 points per game while giving up 14.1. … They surrendered 249 rushing yards – 115 to Levias Simmons – to the Indians in their Oct. 9 meeting. … The Wolverines fumbled the ball away three times on fumbles in that loss.
Belmont (9-3) at Booneville (12-0)
- Playoff seeds: Booneville (5-0) is the top seed out of Division 1-3A, while Belmont (2-3) is the fourth seed out of the same division.
- Rankings: Booneville is the Daily Journal’s top-ranked Class 3A team, while Belmont is ranked fourth.
- This week: When talking to Booneville head coach Jim Drewry this week, it sounded like his team is struggling to get by while his opponent is clicking on all cylinders. The Blue Devils had an easy time in the first round, defeating Marshall 59-6 at home. Then in the second round, Booneville had a more difficult time in beating Nettleton, 22-20, on the road. Belmont, however, defeated South Delta 27-16 on the road in the first round and then beat Water Valley, 27-20, at home last week.
- Recent history: Booneville defeated host Belmont 30-7 on Oct. 31 to close out the regular season. But since the playoff seeds out of Division 1-3A were already determined prior to that game, both teams didn’t necessarily give their best efforts, according to Drewry. “When looking at tapes from their playoff games, they altogether look like a completely different ballclub,” he said.
- Belmont: QB Kase Smith has completed 32 of 80 passes for 529 yards, 4 TDs and 11 INTs. … RB Gage Smith has 188 carries for 1,525 yards and 23 TDs. He’s averaging 127.1 yards per game. He has 13 catches for 230 yards and 1 TD. … RB Dustin Poole has 109 carries for 578 yards and 14 TDs. He has 13 catches for 212 yards and 1 TD.
- Booneville: Belmont coach Kerry Moody says, “Booneville is strong across the board in all aspects of the game. Their defense plays well and they don’t give up big plays. Offensively, they got weapons from running back to wide receivers. They’re also good on special teams.” … Look for Blue Devils WRs Tre Welch and Drew Cristo. Welch has 37 catches for 1,080 yards and 8 TDs this season, while Cristo has 42 receptions for 751 yards and 5 TDs. … The Belmont head coach is also impressed with Blue Devils RB Bo Brown. Brown has rushed 196 times for 1,094 yards and 20 TDs. “Bo Brown is a really good back who picks up yards every time he touches it (the ball),” Moody said. … Booneville is “12-0 for a reason,” Moody said. “They’re very well-disciplined and very well-coached. We definitely have our work cut out for us, but we’re looking forward to the challenge.”
Charleston (13-0) at Aberdeen (11-2)
- Playoff seeds: Aberdeen (5-0) is the top seed out of Division 2-3A; Charleston (5-0) is the top seed out of 3-3A.
- Rankings: Aberdeen is ranked No. 2 in the Journal’s Class 3A rankings. Heading into the playoffs, Charleston was ranked third in the state’s Associated Press Class 3A rankings.
- This week: This showdown features
two teams that are very similar in terms of points scored and points allowed per game. Their common opponents this season were Winona and Independence, and both Aberdeen and Charleston won convincingly over those two opponents.
- Recent history: In last year’s first-round playoff matchup, Aberdeen won 33-20 at Charleston.
- Charleston: The Tigers have recorded 6 shutouts this season. … QB Willie Bradford has thrown for over 900 yards and has completed 20 TD passes. … RB Percy O’Bannon has rushed for over 1,400 yards and 18 TDs.
- Aberdeen: QB Aaron Andrews has completed 105 of 191 pass attempts for 2,136 yards, 27 TDs and 5 INTs. He has rushed 65 times for 301 yards and 3 TDs. … RB Jamerson Love has 155 carries for 1,349 yards and 16 TDs. He also has 16 catches for 410 yards and 6 TDs. … The Bulldogs have three WRs with over 550 receiving yards: Rashad Pargo has 31 receptions for a team-high 736 yards and 8 TDs; Erik Buchanan has a team-high 38 catches for 673 yards and 5 TDs; and Mario Lucas has 32 catches for 563 yards and 5 TDs.
Coffeeville (8-4) at Vardaman (8-3)
- Playoff seeds: Coffeeville (4-3) is the fourth seed out of Division 2-1A, while Vardaman (5-2) is the third seed out of Division 1-1A.
- Rankings: Vardaman is ranked third in the Journal’s small schools’ rankings.
- This week: Coffeeville ousted the Division 1-1A champion, Smithville, on the road last week and will travel to face Vardaman, which eliminated Coffeeville’s division opponent Shaw in the first round.
- Recent history: Haven’t played the last three seasons.
- Coffeeville: The Pirates have the talent to beat bigger schools, as they have beaten Calhoun City (Class 2A) and Water Valley (Class 3A) this season. They lost to Shaw to end the regular season. … RB Devonius Turner has 146 carries for 1,017 yards and 9 TDs. He rushed 28 times for 200 yards and 2 TDs vs. Smithville last week. … RB Desmond Butler has rushed 79 times for 923 yards and 13 TDs.
- Vardaman: The Rams have won four in a row. … Vardaman is 3-1 at home this season. … The Rams intercepted Shaw QB Tevin Thomas twice last week and held Shaw to 114 yards rushing.
Lafayette County (12-1) at Shannon (11-1)
- Playoff seeds: Lafayette County (6-0) is the top seed out of Division 2-4A, while Shannon (4-1) is the second seed out of Divison 1-4A.
- Rankings: Lafayette County is ranked fourth in the Journal’s large schools’ rankings, with Shannon ahead in the third spot.
- This week: The two teams, similar in style of play, find themselves meeting again in the Class 4A playoffs.
- Recent history: Shannon swept both meetings last year, winning 14-7 in the regular season and 7-0 in last year’s quarterfinals game. In 2007, it was much of the same, as the Red Raiders won in the regular season and in the first round of the playoffs.
- Lafayette County: QB Jeremy Liggins is 68 of 138 passing for 1,239 yards, 14 TDs and 5 INTs. He has 159 rushes for 1,202 yards and 15 TDs. … RB Sam Booker has 158 carries for 971 yards and 7 TDs. … RB Demarkus Dennis and QB/S Dominique Price have each scored 9 TDs this season.
- Shannon: QB Legilbert Bogan is 64 of 170 passing for 1,389 yards, 16 TDs and 6 INTs. … RB Keon McGaughy has rushed for 2,329 yards (194.1 ypg) and 27 TDs on 275 carries. He also has 4 TD receptions. … WR Chris Davis has 26 catches for 631 yards and 9 TDs.
Noxubee County (12-1)
at Itawamba AHS (12-0)
- Playoff seeds: Noxubee County (5-0) is the top seed out of Division 4-4A, while Itawamba AHS (5-0) is Division 1-4A’s top seed.
- Rankings: The Associated Press ranked Noxubee County second in the state’s 4A classification behind Itawamba AHS. The Indians are the Daily Journal’s top-ranked large school.
- This week: If you want to see two of the best teams in the state and several future Division I college players, Fulton is the place to be tonight.
- Recent history: Noxubee County has been the Grim Reaper for the Indians, eliminating them from the playoffs the last two seasons: 28-14 in last year’s second-round game and 27-20 in the 2007 quarterfinals.
- Noxubee County: The Tigers have recorded 10 shutouts – 6 in a row at one point – this season. … Noxubee County is scoring 29.9 points per game, while giving up only 3.77. … The Tigers only loss this season was to West Point, 20-12, on Sept. 18.
- Itawamba AHS: QB Maikhail Miller has completed 109 of 210 pass attempts for 1,663 yards, 4 TDs and 6 INTs. … RB Deshawn McGaughy has rushed 142 times for 1,241 yards and 17 TDs. … TE Dillon Mitchell has 35 catches for 556 yards and 7 TDs.
Okolona (9-3) at Durant (11-1)
- Playoff seeds: Okolona (6-1) is the second seed out of Division 1-1A, while Durant (7-0) is the top seed out of Division 2-1A.
- Rankings: Okolona is the Daily Journal’s fourth-ranked small school, while Durant was The AP’s top-ranked Class 1A school entering the playoffs.
- This week: This has the makings for a great playoff game as both teams beat up on the other’s fellow division member in last week’s first round games. Okolona beat Greenville-St. Joseph 64-21, while Durant beat Falkner 38-13.
- Recent history: Haven’t played the last three seasons.
- Okolona: QB Zack Brooks has completed 59 of 116 passes for 892 yards, 13 TDs and 5 INTs. … RB Kentray Ware has rushed 101 times for 1,046 yards and 7 TDs. … WR Antwan Grady has 38 catches for 631 yards and 6 TDs.
- Durant: Okolona head coach Calvin Aldridge says Durant “has a real fine football team. They’re a lot similar to us in the fact that they’re young and very athletic. They got a good group that is strong, fast, big and well-coached.” … RB Cortez Frizell has rushed 186 times for 1,791 yards and 27 TDs. Aldridge says Durant is “primarily a running team” and does “a good job of that.” … The Tigers’ only loss this season was to Class 2A Ackerman, 42-14, on Aug. 28.
Pearl (9-3) at West Point (11-1)
- Playoff seeds: Pearl (6-1) is the second seed out of Division 2-5A, while West Point (7-0) is the top seed out of Division 1-5A.
- Rankings: West Point is the Journal’s second-ranked large school.
- This week: Pearl took care of West Point’s division opponent, Oxford, while the Green Wave disposed of Pearl’s division foe, Canton, in the first round.
- Recent history: Haven’t played the last three seasons.
- Pearl: QB Frank Hutton is 39 of 70 passing for 552 yards, 6 TDs and 7 INTs. … The Pirates have 3 players who’ve rushed for more than 575 yards this season: FB Zack McKee (635), RB Ak Travis (608) and QB Devante Nichols (594, team-high 9 TDs). … WR Twymond Howard has 27 catches for 315 yards and 5 TD receptions.
- West Point: QB Justin Cox has completed 51 of 102 passes for 911 yards, 9 TDs and 3 INTs. He has rushed 78 times for 380 yards and 5 TDs. … RB Lakenderic Thomas has 886 rushing yards and 8 TDs on 145 carries. Teammate Jacoby Lee has 126 carries for 743 yards and 9 TDs. … WR Michael Carr has 29 receptions for 570 yards and 5 TDs.
West Bolivar (13-0) at Baldwyn (7-5)
- Playoff seeds: West Bolivar is the top seed out of Division 4-2A, while Baldwyn is Division 1-2A’s top seed.
- Rankings: West Bolivar is The AP’s top-ranked Class 2A team in the state entering the playoffs, while Baldwyn is the Journal’s top-ranked small school.
- This week: Baldwyn faces a loaded West Bolivar team in a rematch of a 2008 Class 2A quarterfinals matchup.
- Recent history: Baldwyn won at West Bolivar, 28-14, in last year’s quarterfinals game.
- West Bolivar: Eagles head football coach Henry Johnson told The Bolivar Commercial on Wednesday, “This is one that they’ve (his players) marked on their calendar. They know Baldwyn ended their season last year, and we thought we might have underachieved last year by losing in the third round to Baldwyn. We felt like we could make a better run. It just so happens that we’ll get another opportunity. We’ll see what happens.” … The Eagles are holding teams to only 7.6 points a game. … The Eagles had to come from behind to beat Bruce and Eupora in their two postseason games this season.
- Baldwyn: QB Tanner Gaines has completed 90 of 197 passes for 1,319 yards, 15 TDs and 6 INTs. He has rushed 73 times for 350 yards and 4 TDs. … LB Devin Lindsey has a team-high 152 tackles (95 solo). … The Bearcats have outscored their two early-round playoff opponents – O’Bannon and West Tallahatchie – 96-20.
Capsules compiled by John Wilbert
NEMS Daily Journal