vs. Brookhaven Academy (10-4)
at Millsaps College, 5:30 p.m. today
LAST WEEK: Marshall 23, North Delta 21; Brookhaven 21, Simpson 17
THE BUZZ: Marshall has won six straight games since losing Sept. 28 to North Delta, the team it beat last week in the North finals. ... The Patriots have never won a state championship in football, but have played in finals twice before – the last time in 2007. ... Marshall QB Dakota Dailey has passed for 1,966 yards and rushed for 872 yards. ... Pats RB Devin McGregor, a sophomore, has rushed for 1,365 yards, 13 TD. ... WR/DB Aaron McAlexander has 1,521 yards receiving, 20 TD. He’s intercepted 11 passes from his safety spot, 31 in three seasons. ... LB Matt Rappa leads defense with 162 tackles. ... DL Zack Pritchett has 13 sacks. ... Brookhaven QB Gage Posey has completed 189 of 312 passes for 2,828 yards, 22 TD. He has rushed for 738 yards, 17 TD. ... RB Landon Nettles has rushed for 1,043 yards, 15 TD. ... WR Seth Rushing has 69 receptions for 1,159 yards, 7 TD.
THE SKINNY: Marshall’s success will depend on how well its offense controls the ball and keeps BA’s no-huddle attack off the field. Patriots defense needs to limit Posey’s big plays. Marshall’s playmakers – Dailey, McAlexander and McGregor – need to have big days.
PREDICTION: Marshall Academy
MHSAA Class 2A State Semifinals
Bruce (11-3) vs. Eupora (13-1)
at Eupora, 7 p.m. today
LAST WEEK: Bruce 14, West Bolivar 12; Eupora 35, Calhoun City 13
THE BUZZ: All three of Bruce’s losses have come on the road this season. ... Both Bruce and Eupora were beaten by Calhoun City. ...Bruce quarterback Davis Brown (6-foot-3, 185) has thrown for 2,736 and 35 TDs. ...Shaq Bush and Rashad Turner each have 10 TD receptions. ... Bruce DB Donta Armstrong has five interceptions. ... Bruce senior Zay Armstrong has rushed for team highs of 672 yards and 8 TDs on 113 carries. ... Eupora has won nine straight games since losing at home against Calhoun City on Sept. 14. ... Eagles WR Derrick Jones is an Ole Miss commitment with 36 catches for 729 yards and 10 TDs. ... Nine different players have scored Eupora’s 35 rushing touchdowns. ... The teams last played in 2010, a 40-28 win for Eupora at home. ... Eupora coach Junior Graham will serve as head coach for the Mississippi team in December’s Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Classic in Montgomery.
THE SKINNY: The winner of this game will have to overcome a stout defense. Bruce allows 10 points per game. Eupora gives up 11. Both teams have vertical passing threats and balanced run games.
MHSAA Class 5A North Final
West Point (11-2) vs. Starkville (10-3) at Starkville, 7 p.m. today
LAST WEEK: West Point 56, Ridgeland 21; Starkville 28, Oxford 7
THE BUZZ: Starkville coach Jamie Mitchell called West Point junior running back Aeris Williams an “SEC” back. Williams has 1,519 yards on 268 carries. ... West Point QB Tez Lane has rushed for 1,261 yards on 191 carries. ... West Point’s 11.8 points per game allowed is the same number it allowed in the 2010 championship season. ... The Green Wave won the 5A championship in 2009 as well. ...Starkville QB Gabe Myles, a Mississippi State commitment, has rushed for 542 yards and 9 TDs. ... Starkville backs Preston Baker and Jacquez Horsley share similar stats. Baker has 101 carries for 748 yards and 9 TDs. Horsley has 104 carries for 749 yards and 8 TDs. ... Starkville coach Jamie Mitchell is playing in the ninth North State game in his career and has been to Jackson twice, losses with Pontotoc and Starkville. ... This is the fifth time the rivals have met in three seasons. They’ve split the last four meetings.
THE SKINNY: Starkville must figure out how to stop a rushing game that went for 271 yards and five TDs in the season’s first meeting. West Point will face a healthy Starkville QB in Myles, who had just returned from an ankle injury.
PREDICTION: West Point