Prep football: Division play fully kicks in

Football stockBy Brandon Speck

Daily Journal

Mississippi high school football is halfway done. But it’s just now getting serious.

When Baldwyn hosts Mantachie and Aberdeen goes to Nettleton Friday, all of the state’s six classes will be in division play, jockeying for the playoffs.

Other classes have already opened division. Tupelo improved to 5-0, 1-0 Friday in Division 1-6A with a win at Hernando. The Golden Wave will host 5-0, 1-0 Grenada on Friday. Tupelo has won three straight in the series.

Class 5A contender West Point will be trying to get back on track after a Division 1-5A-opening loss at Oxford. The Green Wave will host Clarksdale.

“I thought we played very hard. We’ve just got to play a little smarter,” West Point coach Chris Chambless said. “We’ll be fine.”

West Point did what West Point does, control the clock. Mississippi State commit Aeris Williams had more than 140 yards on a full load of 35 carries, some from the Wildcat.

But sustained drives came up empty and Oxford took advantage. Oxford hadn’t beaten West Point in a long time – some say never. They could meet again in the playoffs.

Saltillo is 5-1 and won its 1-5A opener Friday at Lake Cormorant. The Tigers go to West Point on Oct. 25.

“We’ve got to finish and turn around and play defense and stop them,” Chambless said. “That’s the bottom line.”

Not much change

There wasn’t much movement in the Journal rankings. Two teams dropped out.

Nettleton and Baldwyn each moved into the No. 5 spots in the Class 4A/3A and 2A/1A rankings respectively. Oxford remains the top large school. The Chargers go to Saltillo. Ripley, the top team in Class 4A/3A, goes to Lafayette for a pivotal game to open division play.

brandon.speck@journalinc.com