BY BRANDON SPECK
South Pontotoc coach Roger Chism wasn’t going there last week. Asked about this week’s Pontotoc County rivalry game against North Pontotoc, Chism only laughed and led the conversation back to the Cougars’ Week 3 game against Mantachie.
After an overtime win against Mantachie, the perfect – surprisingly perfect – Cougars (3-0) can officially turn their attention to the Vikings (1-2) across town. South entered the Daily Journal rankings at No. 4 this week in Class 4A/3A.
“Us and North, us and Pontotoc, Pontotoc and North, it’s just sort of a three-way thing here,” Chism said. “We all like to beat each other.”
It’s not the only county rivalry taking place Friday. Lafayette is scheduled to unveil its new turf the way it should be unveiled.
After three road games to open the season, the Commodores host rival Oxford, the Journal’s No. 1 large school, in the Crosstown Classic. Lafayette entered the Journal rankings this week at No. 3 in the Class 4A/3A rankings.
In Lee County, four of the five teams face off. No. 3 large school Saltillo hosts neighbor and No. 2 Tupelo for the first time. Both bring in perfect 3-0 records.
Shannon will try to rebound from a 47-0 loss to Tupelo. The Red Raiders visit fourth-ranked 4A/3A school Nettleton, where former Shannon coach Mike Scott has the Tigers off to a 2-1 start. His offensive coordinator is former Shannon QB Ken Topps.
The Journal rankings introduce a new No. 1 team. Bruce takes over the top spot after last week’s two top-ranked teams, Calhoun City and Smithville, each lost.
DAILY JOURNAL RANKINGS
(Last week in parentheses)
1. Oxford (1, 4-0) beat East Side
37-6. Friday: at Lafayette
2. Tupelo (2, 3-0) beat Shannon
47-0. Friday: at Saltillo
3. Saltillo (3, 3-0) beat Itawamba
AHS 27-14. Friday: Tupelo
1. Ripley (1, 3-0) beat Falkner
54-13. Friday: at North Panola
2. Booneville (3, 2-0) did not
play. Friday: at Corinth
3. Lafayette (NR, 2-1) beat DeSoto
Central 21-6. Friday: Oxford
4. South Pontotoc (NR, 3-0) beat
Mantachie 35-34 OT. Friday: at North Pontotoc
5. Nettleton (4, 2-1) lost 35-27
at East Webster. Friday: Shannon
1. Bruce (3, 3-0) beat Coffeeville
26-19. Friday: Water Valley
2. East Webster (4, 3-0) beat
Nettleton 35-27. Friday: at Houston
3. Calhoun City (1, 2-1) lost 42-
6 at Water Valley. Friday: Pontotoc
4. Smithville (2, 21) lost 35-21
at Caledonia. Friday: at Thrasher
5. Walnut (5, 2-1) beat Alcorn
Central 39-19. Thursday: Middleton
Middleton, Tenn. at Walnut
Amory at New Albany
Belmont at Baldwyn
Booneville at Corinth
Center Hill at Itawamba AHS
Coffeeville at Houlka
Coldwater at Biggersville
Columbus at West Point
East Webster at Houston
Hatley at Alcorn Central
Hillcrest at Starkville Academy
Holly Springs at Coahoma County
Immanuel at New Site
Kossuth at Tishomingo County
Magnolia Heights at Marshall Aca.
Mooreville at Mantachie
Noxubee County at Aberdeen
Okolona at Blytheville, Ark.
Oxford and Lafayette
Pontotoc at Calhoun City
Potts Camp at Benton County
Ripley at North Panola
Shannon at Nettleton
South Pontotoc at North Pontotoc
Southaven at Starkville
Smithville at Thrasher
SV Marshall at H.W. Byers
Tupelo at Saltillo
Vardaman at Hamilton
Water Valley at Bruce
Winston at Oak Hill