Aberdeen (7-6) at Shannon (4-7)
Aberdeen: Senior QB Josh Williams has as much experience as any QB in Mississippi, a fourth-year starter … Junior Donta Carter was the second-leading rusher, behind Williams. … BJ Williams and Tramonte Prather try and fill the big shoes of former safety Sammie Burroughs.
Shannon: Keawvis Cummings is a solid corner. He’ll get tested. … Raiders have a full backfield, including sophomore Xavier Gardner, who started last season. … Senior Cameron Montgomery lists at WR, but can go all over the field.
• Shannon coach Darryl Carter calls the defense, “the heart and soul of what we do.” They’ll face a loaded offense right off the bat.
• Aberdeen QB Josh Williams is starting for the fourth year. He needs a good start after losing last season’s opener to the Raiders.
• Aberdeen is without touted WR Jerrick Orr, still healing from appendix surgery.
• Shannon QBs J.T. Loving and Jaylen Pounds may both see time.
UP NEXT: New Hope at Aberdeen; Shannon open
Oxford (14-1) at Jackson Prep (12-2)
Oxford: Junior WR DK Metcalf is wowing by the game. Last week, the Ole Miss commit leaped a South Panola defender. … Junior QB Jack Abraham is the 2013 Daily Journal Offensive Player of the Year. … Senior LB Mike McGhee is one of the state’s best.
Jackson Prep: QB Gene Wood threw for 1,700 yards and 18 TDs as a junior. … Leading rusher Ian McGraw (878 yards) returns. … Leading tacklers, LB Trace Lovertich and SS Kaleb Lovertich return.
• Oxford has a pair of X-factors at receiver, junior Kyree White and TE Zach Cousar across the middle.
• Oxford has had a reliable foot in Cody Mills. Can juniors Connell Yoste and Liam Cooper step forward?
• Prep is the defending MAIS AAA champion.
• Both are ranked in MaxPreps Medium School Poll, Oxford at No. 13, Prep at No. 21
UP NEXT: Starkville at Oxford; Jackson Prep at Copiah Academy
Ripley (11-2) at Itawamba AHS (7-4)
Ripley: WR Isaiah Howard caught 70 passes for 982 yards and 10 TDs as a junior. … Junior QB Tucker Childers is the new starter. He threw for 171 yards in Saturday’s scrimmage against Charleston. … Senior OL Michael Story will be one to watch. The 6-foot-5, 285-pound senior is at left tackle.
Itawamba AHS: RB Hunter White had more than 1,000 all-purpose yards last season as a sophomore. … QB Vijay Miller returns as starter, but has new receivers. … DE Jamarcus Marion has started for three years and is one of nine back on defense.
• A 45-14 loss to open last season was a wake-up call for IAHS, which won five of its next six games.
• IAHS CB Anfernee King is a returning starter. He’ll get a tough test chasing Isaiah Howard.
• Ripley WR Dorian Gaston will get his chances, more if the Indians have to double up on Howard.
• Ripley’s new-look offensive front faces an experienced IAHS defense.
UP NEXT: North Pontotoc at Ripley; IAHS at New Albany
Amory (4-7) at Independence (4-8)
FOURTH DOWN: Sophomore QB Gunnar Hall will start for Amory after starting the final seven games of 2013.
UP NEXT: Senatobia at Amory; Coldwater at Independence
Baldwyn (11-4) at Nettleton (6-6)
FOURTH DOWN: Baldwyn QB Duke Upshaw had an impressive scrimmage against Senatobia, a TD pass and two rushing scores.
UP NEXT: Booneville at Baldwyn; Nettleton at Mooreville
Benton County (1-6) at H.W. Byers (10-1)
FOURTH DOWN: Byers’ RB Marquis Moore rushed for 1,657 yards last season.
UP NEXT: West Oktibbeha at Benton County; Byers at Holly Springs
Biggersville (2-9) at Alcorn Central (2-9)
FOURTH DOWN: Biggersville’s seniors have never beaten Alcorn Central.
UP NEXT: New Site at Biggersville; Tishomingo County at Alcorn Central
Bruce (7-4) at North Pontotoc (10-4)
FOURTH DOWN: North Pontotoc is strong at linebacker. Can the ends handle Bruce Ole Miss commit WR Jay Johnson?
UP NEXT: Potts Camp at Bruce; North Pontotoc at Ripley
Calhoun Academy (5-5) at Humphreys Academy (4-7)
FOURTH DOWN: Humphreys won 38-18 in last season’s opener at Calhoun.
UP NEXT: Delta Academy at Calhoun Academy; Humphreys Academy at Hebron Christian
Coffeeville (8-4) at Calhoun City (11-4)
FOURTH DOWN: Sixth straight meeting. Calhoun City has won the last four.
UP NEXT: Water Valley at Coffeeville; Calhoun City at Houston
East Oktibbeha (1-7) at Okolona (5-5)
FOURTH DOWN: Okolona QB Tyson Eddie missed most of last season with a neck injury.
UP NEXT: East Oktibbeha at McAdams; Houlka at Okolona
East Webster (6-4) at Vardaman (1-11)
FOURTH DOWN: East Webster won 52-6 in last season’s opener.
UP NEXT: Vardaman at South Pontotoc; Noxapater at East Webster
Ethel (3-8) at Mantachie (9-4)
FOURTH DOWN: Mantachie trying out new names on offense against a team it beat by 30 a year ago.
UP NEXT: Ethel at Montogmery County; Belmont at Mantachie
Grenada Kirk (13-2) at Marshall Academy (2-8)
FOURTH DOWN: New Marshall coach (Sam Pearson) seeking third straight trip to MAIS Class A title game.
UP NEXT: Lee (Ark.) Academy at Kirk; Marshall at Oak Hill
Grenada (9-3) at West Point (7-5)
FOURTH DOWN: West Point senior Quincy Starks gets his shot at feature back.
UP NEXT: Greenwood at Grenada; South Panola at West Point
Hamilton (9-4) at Potts Camp (1-9)
FOURTH DOWN: Potts Camp’s young defense will get an early test against speedy Hamilton back Keshon Heard.
UP NEXT: Caledonia at Hamilton; Potts Camp at Bruce
Holly Springs (2-9) at Byhalia (4-8)
FOURTH DOWN: Holly Springs WR Qawtavis Young is the 3A 100-meter dash champ.
UP NEXT: HW Byers at Holly Springs; North Panola at Byhalia
Houston (1-11) at Pontotoc (3-9)
FOURTH DOWN: Pontotoc returns an experienced defensive secondary. They’ll see Houston back Brandon Townsend a lot.
UP NEXT: Calhoun City at Houston; Pontotoc at Saltillo
Kossuth (4-7) at Corinth (10-2)
FOURTH DOWN: Corinth QB Antares Gwyn starting for the second season, against an experienced Kossuth secondary.
UP NEXT: McNairy (Tenn.) Central at Kossuth; Corinth at Lafayette
Lamar School (11-3) at Starkville Academy (4-7)
FOURTH DOWN: Starkville Academy has 15 starters back.
UP NEXT: Winston Academy at Lamar; Starkville Academy at East Rankin Academy
Middleton (Tenn.) (1-9) at Falkner (7-5)
FOURTH DOWN: New coach (Quess Hood) at Falkner. Same potent offense led by QB Jase Stroupe and RB Jeramie Lawrence.
UP NEXT: Falkner at Walnut; Middleton at East Union
Mooreville (3-7) at Tishomingo County (2-9)
FOURTH DOWN: Mooreville junior Tay Rucker returns at QB, where he played as a freshman.
UP NEXT: Nettleton at Mooreville; Tishomingo County at Alcorn Central
New Albany (4-7) at Water Valley (11-2)
FOURTH DOWN: New Albany flashed a few offensive weapons in a scrimmage against Kossuth.
UP NEXT: Itawamba AHS at Coffeeville; Water Valley at Coffeeville
Noxubee County (9-4) at Starkville (9-4)
FOURTH DOWN: Starkville’s offense is expecting big things. Noxubee is usually pretty stingy.
UP NEXT: Noxubee County at Columbus; Starkville at Oxford
Oak Hill (5-6) at Hartsfield (5-5)
FOURTH DOWN: Oak Hill brothers Drake and Drew Riley are wrecking balls, a combined 1,526 rushing yards and more than 200 tackles last season.
UP NEXT: Marshall Academy at Oak Hill; Hartsfield at Porter’s Chapel
Saltillo (8-5) at DeSoto Central (7-6)
FOURTH DOWN: Saltillo RB Diamante Pounds carried 36 times for 230 yards last season against DC.
UP NEXT: Pontotoc at Saltillo; Lewisburg at DeSoto Central
Smithville (11-4) at Belmont (3-8)
FOURTH DOWN: North champ Smithville has a new coach (Chad Collums) and a new roster that moves Neil Knight from WR to QB.
UP NEXT: Smithville at Hatley; Belmont at Mantachie
South Pontotoc (3-8) at Hatley (3-7)
FOURTH DOWN: Hatley senior Jonathan Waycaster could be Hatley’s best QB in a long time, but his leading WR, Houston Woodman, transferred to Amory.
UP NEXT: Vardaman at South Pontotoc; Smithville at Hatley
TCPS (No 2013 season) at Tipton-Rosemark (Tenn.) (4-7)
FOURTH DOWN: How much did a year off motivate TCPS?
UP NEXT: TCPS at Thrasher; Tunica Academy at Tipton-Rosemark
Thrasher (6-5) at New Site (2-8)
FOURTH DOWN: Relatively unknown, but New Site is physical and has solid offensive weapons.
UP NEXT: TCPS at Thrasher; New Site at Biggersville
Walnut (9-4) at Booneville (8-3)
FOURTH DOWN: Walnut would like to make an early statement, but Booneville has won last three meetings by an average of four touchdowns.
UP NEXT: Falkner at Walnut; Booneville at Baldwyn