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Brookhaven, Loyd Star gain poll recognition

Forgive the Brookhaven Panthers and Loyd Star Hornets for havingsome extra strut in their step. There is a certain level ofconfidence that comes with ranking in The Associated Press PrepPolls. It means state-wide recognition and lots of respect fromCorinth to Pascagoula.

Brookhaven is ranked No. 7 in the Top Twenty and Loyd Star isNo. 5 in the Little Ten. Certainly, it is good for the ego, goodfor the school and good for the community.

It also means that bull’s eye on their respective jerseys willgrow larger each week. Brookhaven and Loyd Star are on the MostWanted list, the main object of every opponent.

“Hey, if we can beat them, we’ll get some recognition.”

Brookhaven (7-1), coached by Tucker Peavey, can identify withthat. Last week the Panthers ambushed South Pike’s previouslyunbeaten and fifth-ranked Eagles 40-21 on King Field. For sure itwas an outstanding game as the Panthers sparkled on offense anddefense. In the AP Poll, Brookhaven took a giant step up the ladderfrom No. 19 to No. 7.

A record crowd, approaching the 5,000 level, witnessed thecontest. According to BHS officials, 4,700 tickets were accountedfor. Band members and cheerleaders were given tickets for the sakeof an accurate head count.

Loyd Star (8-0), under the direction of head coach SidneyWheatley, has made the most dramatic turnaround of any team in thearea. The Hornets struggled to a 3-7 record last year.

State playoffs are on the minds of most winning football teamsthis time of year. Loyd Star plays at Hinds AHS in Utica Fridaynight in what should determine No. 1-seeding in Region 6-2A.

Brookhaven plays a non-region game at Laurel Friday night beforewrapping up regular season play Oct. 31, at Lawrence County inMonticello. That finale should draw a huge crowd, too.

Professor Hoopla, B.S., was trying to find his way homeWednesday afternoon when he dropped off his list of weeklypredictions. Last week Hoopla predicted the winners of 24 games andgot 19 right. Special congratulations go to West Lincoln andCrystal Springs for ending their respective losing streaks.

Hoopla starts this week’s fearless football forecast with aThursday night, community college special.

Co-Lin at Southwest: Wolves have a strong defense and the Bearshave a powerful rushing attack. That means Southwest 17-7.

Brookhaven at Laurel: It’s difficult to win on the road but thePanthers have enough power to accomplish the task. Brookhaven30-16.

Bowling Green at Brookhaven Academy: For homecoming inspiration,the Cougars can look back to the 1993 BA squad that went 9-4 andwon the Class AA state championship. Brookhaven Academy 21-20.

Loyd Star at Hinds AHS: Bulldogs boast talent, speed, etc., butHornets find a way to win. Loyd Star 24-21.

Bogue Chitto at Mt. Olive: Bobcats encounter one of the McNairfamily standouts Friday night in a Region 4-1A showdown. Mt. Olive32-19.

Stringer at West Lincoln: The Red Devils torched the scoreboardfor 60 points last Friday but still lost 70-63 to NatchezCathedral. Homecoming brings out the best in the Bears but it’s notquite enough. Stringer 44-33.

Enterprise at Mize: Yellow Jackets have the opportunity to shakehands with the Region 4-1A champion. Mize 35-7.

Wesson at Madison St. Joe: Cobras desperately need a victory tostay in the state playoff picture. Wesson 28-12.

Franklin County at Amite County: Bulldogs secure first place inthe Region 7-3A race with a hard-fought win in Liberty. FranklinCounty 24-12.

Lawrence County at Wingfield: Cougars tune up for theirregular-season finale by plucking the Falcons. Lawrence County44-6.

In other area action, Hazlehurst should sack Jefferson County38-27, North Pike should beat Port Gibson 28-12, Lamar Schoolshould swamp Copiah Academy 42-8, McComb should trounce Terry 39-10and South Pike should whip Jim Hill 45-14.

Saturday’s collegiate scene should go like this.

Arkansas at Ole Miss: Rebels need a victory to stay in the SECWest title picture. Ole Miss 27-20.

Mississippi State at Kentucky: Wildcat quarterback JaredLorenzen has too much bulk for the Bulldogs. Kentucky 33-17.

South Florida at Southern Miss: Bulls are making their presencefelt in C-USA. South Florida 24-14.

In other Magnolia State games, Grambling should smash JacksonState 38-18, Southern U. should dump Alcorn State 28-7, TexasSouthern should take Valley State 48-12, Delta State should stopHenderson State 20-10, DePauw should clip Millsaps 10-7, Georgetownshould trample Belhaven 29-6 and Austin should outscore MississippiCollege 31-21.