All games start at 7 p.m.
Itawamba AHS (5-0) at North Pontotoc (5-0)
– This week: Two undefeated teams collide in Ecru tonight when Itawamba AHS, the Daily Journal’s third-ranked large school, takes on North Pontotoc.
– Recent history: Itawamba beat North Pontotoc 33-0 in 2006.
– Itawamba AHS: The Indians are ranked No. 2 in the Associated Press Class 4A statewide rankings. … QB Maikhail Miller has completed 47 of 82 pass attempts for 707 yards, 6 TD passes and 1 INT. … RB Deshawn McGaughy has rushed 58 times for 545 yards and 7 TDs. … TE Dillon Mitchell has caught 16 passes for 307 yards and 5 TDs.
– North Pontotoc: QB Brandon Bailey has completed 53 of 103 passes for 679 yards, 5 TDs and 5 INTs. … RB Joe Robbins has rushed 89 times for 436 yards and 5 TDs. … WR Jeremy Berry has 23 rcceptions for 283 yards and 2 TDs. … DL Bernard Strong had 4 sacks against Kossuth.
Pontotoc (5-0) at New Albany (4-2)
– This week: Pontotoc, the Journal’s fifth-ranked large school, takes its perfect record to New Albany to face a Bulldogs team that has won three consecutive games.
– Recent history: The last three meetings have been decided by eight points or less, with Pontotoc winning the last two: 21-20 last year and 29-26 in 2007. New Albany won the 2006 meeting 20-12.
– Pontotoc: The Warriors have outscored their opponents 136-40. … QB Canden Dallas has completed 40 of 74 passes for 688 yards and 9 TDs. … RB Randall Crayton has rushed 77 times for 560 yards and 5 TDs. He had a 67-yard TD reception vs. Amory last week. … WR Ryan Thompson has 11 catches for 244 yards and 3 TDs.
– New Albany: QB Tyler Basil has completed 42 of 87 passes for 700 yards, 6 TDs and 5 INTs. … RB Kareem Brown has rushed 80 times for 571 yards and 6 TDs. He also has 15 catches for 225 yards and 1 TD. … RB Eric Johnson has rushed 90 times for 565 yards and 5 TDs. … WR Taylor Goode has 11 catches for 237 yards and 4 TDs.
Ripley (2-3) at Corinth (2-3)
– This week: The winner of this game has gone on to win the division for the past 10 years. The teams are playing at Corinth High School for the second year in a row. Ripley is ranked third in the Journal’s Class 3A rankings, while Corinth is fifth.
– Recent history: Ripley has won two of the last three, but it was the Warriors who emerged with a 52-34 victory in last year’s meeting. The Tigers hold a 14-13 advantage in the series that originated in 1936.
– Ripley: The Tigers rushed for 280 of their 356 total yards last week against Baldwyn. … Ripley’s rushing attack certainly got a boost when Rashid March returned from injury. He rushed for 93 yards and 1 TD on 17 carries against Baldwyn. His season totals are 61 rushes for 349 yards and 6 TDs. … The Tigers are averaging 29.6 points per game, while giving up 23.2.
– Corinth: The Warriors’ 19-0 win against Tishomingo County last week was the 150th career victory for head coach Jimmy Mitchell. He is 150-61 in 18 seasons and 104-38 during his Corinth tenure. … DB Diante Curlee returned a pass interception 103 yards for a TD against Tishomingo County. … The Warriors are averaging 19.2 points per game, while surrendering 27.2.
Shannon (5-0) at Tishomingo County (2-3)
– This week: Shannon, the Journal’s top-ranked large school, opens up division play against a Tishomingo County team that has struggled of late.
– Recent history: Shannon has won three straight over the Braves by an average margin of 26.3 points.
– Shannon: QB Legilbert Bogan has completed 26 of 66 attempts for 596 yards, 7 TDs and 3 INTs. … RB Keon McGaughy has 118 carries for 912 yards (182.4 per game) and 12 TDs. … WR Chris Davis has 10 catches for 221 yards and 4 TDs.
– Tishomingo County: The Braves were shut out 19-0 by Corinth two weeks ago. Shannon beat Corinth 35-7 the week before. … The Braves have been outscored 105-79 this year.
South Pontotoc (3-3) at Mooreville (5-1)
– This week: Both of these teams have struggled the past three seasons, and Mooreville has joined Division 2-3A this season from Division 1-3A.
– Recent history: Haven’t played the last three seasons.
– South Pontotoc: QB Wesley Barefield has completed 40 of 89 pass attempts for 509 yards, 2 TDs and 3 INTs. … RB Monte Love has 77 carries for 347 yards and 7 TDs. … WR Matthew Berry has 10 catches for 150 yards and 1 TD. … WR Matt Adams has 10 catches for 178 yards and 1 TD.
– Mooreville: QB Griff Loftis is 24 of 54 passing for no TDs and 3 INTs. … RB Gary Johnson has carried 52 times for 308 yards and 5 TDs. He rushed for 173 yards and scored twice in the Troopers’ 17-13 win last week against Kossuth. … Team has won five straight since season-opening loss to Saltillo.
Starkville (1-4, 1-0 1-6A) at Tupelo (1-3, 1-0 1-6A)
– This week: Tonight’s Division 1-6A game against the visiting Yellowjackets is only the second home contest of the season for the Golden Wave. Both teams are 1-0 in the division after wins last week – Tupelo beat Columbus 10-6; Starkville defeated DeSoto Central 9-3.
– Recent history: Tupelo has won three straight games in the series, including last year’s 28-0 decision in Starkville. The Jackets’ last win, 25-17, came in 2005.
– Tupelo: DE P.J. Jones (ankle) is expected to miss his second consecutive game. … LB Chris Donald had 10 solo tackles, four assisted stops and two sacks against Columbus. … RB McKenzie Tyler leads the team with 233 yards rushing on 66 carries. … Look for the Wave to get sophomore WR Matt MacIntosh more involved in the offensive game plan. He rushed for 64 yards against Columbus.
– Starkville: Star WR Chuck Tillery, who has been sidelined all season with a fractured bone in his leg, could return to the field this week. Mississippi State, Ole Miss, Miami and Arkansas State are a few of the schools seeking his services. … QB Jaquez Johnson completed 6 of 13 passes for 81 yards and added 41 yards rushing in win against DeSoto Central.
Vardaman (3-1, 1-0 1-1A) at Smithville (4-0, 1-0 1-1A)
– This week: The battle for third place in the Journal’s small school rankings – and perhaps even more – is on the line in this Division 1-4A matchup. Vardaman currently holds onto the third spot, with its only loss coming to second-ranked Calhoun City. Smithville is ranked fourth.
– Recent history: Vardaman has swept the last three meetings, outscoring Smithville 93-20.
– Vardaman: The Associated Press ranked the Rams fifth in the state’s 1A classification. … QB Austin Spann has completed 31 of 62 passes for 302 yards and 2 TDs. … RB Willie Lee has 69 carries for 415 yards and 2 TDs. … WR Donta Walker has 6 catches for 187 yards and 1 TD. … The Rams have outscored their opponents 72-43 this season.
– Smithville: The AP has ranked the Seminoles fourth in the state’s 1A classification. … QB Antwune Freeman has completed 11 of 29 passes for 219 yards, 3 TDs and 1 INT. He has carried 60 times for 463 yards and 8 TDs. … RB Datrune Freeman has rushed 58 times for 438 yards and 3 TDs. … The Seminoles have outscored their opponents 101-25.
West Point (4-1, 1-0 1-5A) at New Hope (4-0, 1-0)
– This week: West Point, the Journal’s second-ranked large school, has been on a roll, winning four straight since losing to top-ranked Shannon.
– Recent history: West Point has won the last two meetings: 21-12 last year and 36-6 in 2007.
– West Point: The Green Wave is ranked third in Class 5A by the Associated Press. … RB Xavier Hogan sat out last week’s game against Gentry with an injury.
– New Hope: The Associated Press has the Trojans ranked fourth in 5A. … QB Zak Thrasher is averaging close to 100 yards passing per game. … RB Terrance Dentry, a 1,000-yard rusher last season, is averaging close to 90 yards per game rushing.
Compiled by John Wilbert and Gene Phelps
NEMS Daily Journal