BY BRANDON SPECK
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.
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.
DAILY JOURNAL RANKINGS
(Preseason in parentheses)
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
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
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.)
Baldwyn at Booneville
Walnut at Falkner
West Point at South Panola
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