BY BRAD LOCKE
It's a simple formula: If Tupelo wins, it's in the playoffs. If Columbus loses, Tupelo is in the playoffs.
Despite the fact that Columbus beat Tupelo earlier this year, the Golden Wave has the upper hand on grabbing the fourth and final playoff berth in Region 1-5A. That's because the Golden Wave (5-5, 3-3) has gone 3-2 since that game, while the Falcons (4-6, 2-4) have gone 2-4.
Columbus plays at Starkville (4-5, 2-4) tonight. The Yellowjackets cannot make the playoffs because of their loss to Tupelo, but they are quite capable of beating Columbus, which has lost two straight.
Nevertheless, Tupelo would just as soon take care of business by beating Olive Branch (9-1, 5-1).
“I'd rather just win and just be in,” THS head coach Eric Collins said. “I wanna control our own destiny.”
East Webster is in a similar situation. The Wolverines (6-4, 5-3) are tied with three other teams for third place in Region 2-1A: Ethel, Ray Brooks and West Oktibbeha. East Webster could get in even with a loss, but that's more complicated than the win-and-you're-in method.
East Webster, coming off a 33-16 win over Ray Brooks, plays host to Ethel tonight.
“They'r really big and physical, have a good offensive line and good skill people. Their kids play well,” East Webster head coach Jimmy Carden said. “Just look at who they've played.”
Ethel's slate has included games against Region 1-1A runner-up Coffeeville and Class 3A Winona.