High School Football Week 1 creates big buzz

Adam Robison | Daily Journal Saltillo running back Malik Randolph avoids a tackle from Desoto Centrals Alan Lamar.

Adam Robison | Daily Journal
Saltillo running back Malik Randolph avoids a tackle from Desoto Centrals Alan Lamar.

BY BRANDON SPECK
DAILY JOURNAL

Week 1 of the 2013 high school football season came and went with a bang.

From a bench-clearing scuffle between Tisho-mingo County and Mooreville to a game-winning field goal and field goal block in Saltillo to an injury-plagued Baldwyn standout who got hurt yet again, opening week left plenty to be discussed.

In Baldwyn, Duke Upshaw left a loss against Nettleton after suffering a shoulder bruise. His status for Thursday’s game at Booneville is uncertain. In Amory, they’re discussing the torn ACL of starting quarterback Jon David Poss.

Saltillo is discussing some promise. The Tigers fought through some key mistakes and pulled out a 24-21 overtime win against Class 6A DeSoto Central.

“That’s the sign of a pretty good football team,” Saltillo coach Pat Byrd said. “We’re a long way from it, but I think we’ve got the chance to be one. Just finding a way when there may not be one, that makes me feel good.”
AJ Rye made the game-winning kick and Colby Hall had the game-sealing block. Oh, and Diamante Pounds rushed for 234 yards and a touchdown and had a 95-yard kick return score.

Thursday games
There are only three more days to discuss opening week, with three marquee games taking center stage Thursday.

Baldwyn and Booneville have been playing each other for a long time, but the intense rivalry has a new life – thanks to a skunk. When a stinky critter ran onto the field last season, it was followed by an Andrew Lambert game-winning interception and a new name for the game.

Now officially dubbed “Skunk Bowl,” Thursday’s game at Booneville has a trophy for the first time.

Falkner and Walnut also play in the Joe Bowl at Falkner. Falkner’s win last season broke Walnut’s nine-game winning streak in the series.

The Journal rankings have a big shift this week, in Class 4A/3A especially. Four of five ranked teams lost; the winner was No. 2 Ripley with a 31-point win over top-ranked Itawamba AHS.

In 6A/5A, Starkville moves into the rankings after an impressive 17-0 win over Noxubee County in a matchup of state champions. Only one ranked Small School lost, Baldwyn losing 22-14 to Nettleton, which now moves into the Top 5.

brandon.speck@journalinc.com

H.S. FOOTBALL
DAILY JOURNAL RANKINGS
(Preseason in parentheses)

Class 6A/5A
1. Oxford (1): Beat Jackson Prep 32-20. Next: at Starkville

2. Tupelo (3): Beat Lafayette 36-21. Next: at Center Hill

3. Starkville (NR): Beat Noxubee County 17-0. Next: vs. Oxford

Class 4A/3A
1. Ripley (2): Beat Itawamba AHS 45-14. Next: at North Pontotoc

2. Shannon (NR): Beat Aberdeen 21-14. Next: Bye

3. Booneville (NR): Beat Walnut 35-7. Next vs. Booneville (Thursday)

4. Nettleton (NR): Beat Baldwyn 22-14. Next: vs. Mooreville

5. Itawamba AHS (1): Lost 45-14 to Ripley. Next: vs. New Albany

Class 2A/1A
1. Calhoun City (1): Beat Coffeeville 45-6. Next: vs. Houston

2. Smithville (2): Beat Belmont 7-0. Next: vs. Hatley

3. Bruce (4): Beat North Pontotoc 19-14. Next: at Potts Camp

4. Falkner (5): Beat Middleton (Tenn.) 59-29. Next: vs. Walnut (Thursday)

5. East Webster (NR): Beat Vardaman 53-6. Next: at Noxapater

THIS WEEK’S SCHEDULE
(All kickoffs at 7 p.m.)
Thursday
Baldwyn at Booneville

Walnut at Falkner

West Point at South Panola

Friday
Aberdeen at New Hope

Alcorn Central at Tishomingo Co.

Amory at Senatobia

Biggersville at New Site

Bruce at Potts Camp

Calhoun Academy at Delta

East Union at Middleton, Tenn.

East Rankin at Starkville Academy

East Webster at Noxapater

Hamilton at Caledonia

Hatley at Smithville

Holly Springs at H.W. Byers

Houlka at Okolona

Houston at Calhoun City

Kossuth at McNairy (Tenn.) Central

Lafayette at Corinth

Mantachie at Belmont

Mooreville at Nettleton

New Albany at IAHS

Oak Hill at Marshall

Oxford at Starkville

Ripley at North Pontotoc

Saltillo at Pontotoc

South Pontotoc at Vardaman

Tupelo at Center Hill