By NEMS Daily Journal
MAIS AA Championship Game
Marshall Academy (11-2)
vs. Brookhaven Academy (10-4)
at Millsaps College, 5:30 p.m. today
LAST WEEK: Marshall 23, North Delta 21; Brookhaven 21, Simpson 17
THE BUZZ: Marshall has won six straight games since losing Sept. 28 to North Delta, the team it beat last week in the North finals. … The Patriots have never won a state championship in football, but have played in finals twice before – the last time in 2007. … Marshall QB Dakota Dailey has passed for 1,966 yards and rushed for 872 yards. … Pats RB Devin McGregor, a sophomore, has rushed for 1,365 yards, 13 TD. … WR/DB Aaron McAlexander has 1,521 yards receiving, 20 TD. He’s intercepted 11 passes from his safety spot, 31 in three seasons. … LB Matt Rappa leads defense with 162 tackles. … DL Zack Pritchett has 13 sacks. … Brookhaven QB Gage Posey has completed 189 of 312 passes for 2,828 yards, 22 TD. He has rushed for 738 yards, 17 TD. … RB Landon Nettles has rushed for 1,043 yards, 15 TD. … WR Seth Rushing has 69 receptions for 1,159 yards, 7 TD.
THE SKINNY: Marshall’s success will depend on how well its offense controls the ball and keeps BA’s no-huddle attack off the field. Patriots defense needs to limit Posey’s big plays. Marshall’s playmakers – Dailey, McAlexander and McGregor – need to have big days.
PREDICTION: Marshall Academy
MHSAA Class 2A State Semifinals
Bruce (11-3) vs. Eupora (13-1)
at Eupora, 7 p.m. today
LAST WEEK: Bruce 14, West Bolivar 12; Eupora 35, Calhoun City 13
THE BUZZ: All three of Bruce’s losses have come on the road this season. … Both Bruce and Eupora were beaten by Calhoun City. …Bruce quarterback Davis Brown (6-foot-3, 185) has thrown for 2,736 and 35 TDs. …Shaq Bush and Rashad Turner each have 10 TD receptions. … Bruce DB Donta Armstrong has five interceptions. … Bruce senior Zay Armstrong has rushed for team highs of 672 yards and 8 TDs on 113 carries. … Eupora has won nine straight games since losing at home against Calhoun City on Sept. 14. … Eagles WR Derrick Jones is an Ole Miss commitment with 36 catches for 729 yards and 10 TDs. … Nine different players have scored Eupora’s 35 rushing touchdowns. … The teams last played in 2010, a 40-28 win for Eupora at home. … Eupora coach Junior Graham will serve as head coach for the Mississippi team in December’s Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Classic in Montgomery.
THE SKINNY: The winner of this game will have to overcome a stout defense. Bruce allows 10 points per game. Eupora gives up 11. Both teams have vertical passing threats and balanced run games.
MHSAA Class 5A North Final
West Point (11-2) vs. Starkville (10-3) at Starkville, 7 p.m. today
LAST WEEK: West Point 56, Ridgeland 21; Starkville 28, Oxford 7
THE BUZZ: Starkville coach Jamie Mitchell called West Point junior running back Aeris Williams an “SEC” back. Williams has 1,519 yards on 268 carries. … West Point QB Tez Lane has rushed for 1,261 yards on 191 carries. … West Point’s 11.8 points per game allowed is the same number it allowed in the 2010 championship season. … The Green Wave won the 5A championship in 2009 as well. …Starkville QB Gabe Myles, a Mississippi State commitment, has rushed for 542 yards and 9 TDs. … Starkville backs Preston Baker and Jacquez Horsley share similar stats. Baker has 101 carries for 748 yards and 9 TDs. Horsley has 104 carries for 749 yards and 8 TDs. … Starkville coach Jamie Mitchell is playing in the ninth North State game in his career and has been to Jackson twice, losses with Pontotoc and Starkville. … This is the fifth time the rivals have met in three seasons. They’ve split the last four meetings.
THE SKINNY: Starkville must figure out how to stop a rushing game that went for 271 yards and five TDs in the season’s first meeting. West Point will face a healthy Starkville QB in Myles, who had just returned from an ankle injury.
PREDICTION: West Point