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Weather favors ducks over football

Quack. Quack. Quack.

It’s been so wet lately; folks are starting to grow webs betweentheir toes. This scribe has waded through his share of muddysidelines on Friday nights but the 2009 football season has becomea new record for rain-soaked fields, rain-spattered notebooks andmuddy shoes.

“Tom! Don’t you dare set foot in this house with those shoeson!”

Gulp. Those were orders from headquarters. My devoted wife,Laurie, runs a clean ship. There’s no excuse for sloppysportswriters tracking mud across her carpeted floors.

Besides, Japanese are known for their unique culture. They parktheir shoes at the entrance door to their homes. My wife loves riceand Chinese food but she is 100 percent American made, a genuineLincoln Countian.

Remember, a happy wife means a happy life.

For sure, this has been a year of much-needed rainfall. It allstarted back on the 21st of August. I attended the BrookhavenAcademy-Silliman Institute game that Friday night.

As a harbinger for the season ahead, area thunderstorms delayedthe kickoff for two hours or more at several games that night. Ifyou are keeping score, it has rained on either Thursday or Fridaybefore every game this season.

Most high school fields don’t have outdoor carpet on thesidelines. What you encounter or wade through is a muddy trench,complete with stench. In many cases, the storm drains are next tothe field. A heavy rainfall causes them to back up and overflow.That provides bystanders with an odor that can spoil the eveningmeal and breakfast, too.

Ahh, for the love of the game.

Professor Hoopla B.S., was inspecting his game bag as heprepared for Mississippi’s squirrel season. There appears to be anabundance of bushy-tailed rodents cavorting through the trees thisseason. His single-shot, 16-gauge is oiled and ready.

Hoopla predicted the winners of 19 games last week and managedto get 13 correct. Here’s a preview of this weekend’s winners,starting with a Thursday night, community college special, plus aGulf South Conference showdown.

East Central at Co-Lin: Fresh from a big upset win over PearlRiver on homecoming Saturday, the Wolfpack must beware of a letdownwhen the Warriors invade Stone Stadium tonight. Co-Lin 17-10.

Delta State at North Alabama: Statesmen smile for the televisioncamera but Lions do the celebrating. North Alabama 24-17.

Brookhaven at Picayune: Panthers make a long ride to Pearl RiverCounty and encounter a powerful wave, known as the Maroon Tide.Picayune 32-12.

East Rankin at Brookhaven Academy: Unbeaten Cougars seek theirninth win on homecoming night. Brookhaven Academy 24-14.

Puckett at Loyd Star: Wolves provide an awesome display ondefense and offense as they escape “Sambo” Smith Field with anarrow win. Puckett 14-12.

West Lincoln at Salem: For the Bears, it is their lastopportunity to claim a third victory in 2009, if the Wildcatscooperate. West Lincoln 19-16.

Mt. Olive at Bogue Chitto: Will the real Bobcats show uptomorrow night on Troy Smith Field? If they do, it’s Bogue Chitto27-24.

Wesson at Enterprise: Cobras must bounce back from theirovertime loss to stay in the Region 6-2A title chase. Wesson33-13.

Lawrence County at South Pike: Healthy again in the offensivebackfield, the Cougars move one step closer to the Region 6-4Achampionship with a win in Magnolia. Lawrence County 38-19.

Amite County at Franklin County: Streaking Bulldogs take care ofbusiness in Meadville. Franklin County 41-6.

Copiah Academy at Parklane: Pioneers plot an ambush in PikeCounty. Parklane 26-14.

In other area action, Hazlehurst over Wilkinson County 39-8,McComb over Pearl River Central 18-14, Crystal Springs over PortGibson 14-12 and North Pike over Columbia 20-12.

After reviewing the bag limit for squirrels, Hoopla revealsSaturday’s winners.

Southwest at Pearl River: The Wildcats will take out theirfrustrations on the Bears from Summit. Pearl River 34-12.

Mississippi State at Middle Tennessee State: This is supposed tobe a breather for the Bulldogs. Miss. State 28-14.

Alabama-Birmingham at Ole Miss: Rebels try to regroup aftertheir lopsided loss to Alabama’s Crimson Tide. Ole Miss 29-17.

Memphis at Southern Miss: Larry Fedora is earning his salary ashis USM team battles through injuries and disappointing setbacks.Southern Miss 30-10.

In other Magnolia State action, Jackson State over TexasSouthern 27-10, Alabama A&M over Alcorn State 28-18, PrairieView over Valley State 29-13, Millsaps over Rhodes 26-7,Mississippi College over Mary Hardin-Baylor 22-10 and Belhaven overShorter 17-7.

Write to sports editor Tom Goetz, c/o The DAILY LEADER, P.O. BOX551, Brookhaven, MS 39602 or e-mail sports@dailyleader.com