Friday Night Lights Look-Ahead — High School Football Previews for Area Schools

Published 1:00 pm Thursday, October 21, 2021

Brookhaven Academy vs. Wayne Academy

7 p.m. Friday

R.M. “Red” Stuard Field, Brookhaven

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There are major playoff implications to be sorted out as Brookhaven Academy (7-2) and Wayne Academy (4-5) meet in a big MAIS District 4-4A matchup to wrap up the regular season.

Wayne lost last week to Columbia Academy to take a little luster off the game, but the Jaguars are still a dangerous team despite having a 1-1 division record compared to the 2-0 mark held by BA.


The last time these two teams met…

Brookhaven Academy was 3-0 all-time against Wayne before the teams met in the MAIS 4A semifinals last season. That night in Waynesboro the Jaguars took a 49-21 win.


What to watch for Brookhaven Academy?

The Cougar defense has been ball-hawking of late for coach Anthony Hart. Last week against Centreville Academy they picked off three passes for a second straight game. Senior Michael Watts returned one of those interceptions 55-yards for a score.


What to watch for Wayne Academy?

Stone Ross is the engine that drives the WA bus. The senior quarterback is shifty with breakaway speed. He ran for 250 yards last season when Wayne knocked BA from the playoffs. His offensive line has been banged up of late, but the Cougars can’t let Ross get into the open field.



Brookhaven High vs. Florence High

7 p.m. Friday

King Field, Brookhaven

It’s homecoming at 443 East Monticello Street as the Panthers (3-3) play their final home game of the regular season on King Field. Florence is a newcomer to the 5A classification and have struggled to a 1-5 record in 2021.


The last time these two teams met…

BHS took a 28-14 win at Florence in 2008. From 2005-2008, the schools were members of the same 4A region, and the Panthers were 4-0 against the Eagles during those years — the only times the schools have ever played.


What to watch for Brookhaven High?

Injuries put a hurting on the Panthers in the second half of their 33-14 win over Hattiesburg last week. Both running back Xavier Gayten and senior quarterback Dre Ross went out after getting banged up. Dashawn Wilson came off the bench to pick up 58 yards on 10 carries. The offensive line got a huge boost two weeks ago when junior Amari Smith made his return from injury. The 6-foot-5, 280-pound Smith is a difference maker at the tackle position.


What to watch for Florence High?

The Eagles have struggled to score against 5A competition this season. Wayne County beat FHS 48-17 while Hattiesburg topped them 52-0. Last week West Jones beat Florence 35-0. Former Southern Miss linebacker Rod Davis is in his third year as head coach at the Rankin County school.



Bogue Chitto vs. Amite County

7 p.m. Friday

Troy Smith Field, Bogue Chitto

It’s homecoming at Bogue Chitto (6-2) and a win over Amite County (3-3) will lock up second place in Region 7-2A for the home team. The Bobcats will be on the road next week at Franklin County in a non-division game, but a win over Amite County would assure Bogue Chitto a home game back on Troy Smith Field when the postseason starts.


The last time these two teams met…

The schools have played four times and are split 2-2 in those meetings. The series began in 2017 when the schools were first paired together in Region 7-2A. Last season BC won 34-32 in Liberty.


What to watch for Bogue Chitto?

The Bobcats are banged up and thin in a lot of positions but have showed a grittiness throughout the season in winning close games for coach Gareth Sartin. Last week the Bobcats won 13-12 in overtime at East Marion. The Eagles went for a 2-point conversion and the win only to be denied by the BC defense.


What to watch for Amite County?

Senior Kobe Johnson is carrying the load offensively for the Trojans as a quarterback. Johnson has thrown for three scores and rushed for six mores as he leads the team with 392 yards rushing on 67 carries. Johnson scored twice on the ground last week against West Lincoln and senior Emaja Thompson led the team with 71 yards on seven carries against the Bears.


Enterprise at Lumberton

7 p.m. Friday

LHS Football Field, Lumberton

The Yellow Jackets (3-5) are on the road this week to face the defending 1A state champion Lumberton Panthers (4-3). Enterprise is coming off an 18-8 win over Salem last week. Senior quarterback Matthew Burns passed for a score and picked up 80 yards on eight carries and had one rushing touchdown against Salem.


The last time these two teams met…

This is the first meeting between the schools.


What to watch for Enterprise?

Senior linebacker Seth Mitchell led EAC with 14 tackles in the win over Salem and freshman Wyatt Garrett chipped in 12 stops as well. Stewart, Tre Baker, Ayden Arevalo and Prewitt Falvey had one sack each for the Jackets last week.


What to watch for Lumberton?

The Panthers have a potent two-part rushing attack led by seniors Rodney Parker and Shavante Toney. Parker plays QB and has thrown for six scores while also rushing for seven touchdowns and 545 yards on the season. Toney leads the team in yards with 626 thus far. He’s averaging 7.9 yards per carry.



Loyd Star at West Lincoln

7 p.m. Friday

Perry Miller Field, Brookhaven

Loyd Star is creeping closer to wrapping up its second region title in four years and a win against West Lincoln (0-7) would get them that much closer to the Region 7-2A crown. Coach Brian Ford’s Hornets (8-1) saw their unbeaten streak ended last week with a 35-29 loss at St. Andrew’s Episcopal.


The last time these two teams met…

The Hornets won the first five in this series that began in 2003 before West Lincoln broke through for a 28-26 victory in 2014. Since that game the schools have split their last six meetings 3-3 in a series that Loyd Star leads 8-4. Last season the Bears held on for another 28-26 win. They’ve won two in a row against the Hornets including a 47-27 victory in 2019.


What to watch for West Lincoln?

The Bears couldn’t generate much offensively last week in a 38-3 loss at Amite County. WL only had 120 yards of total offense on the night. A Josh Thornhill 32-yad field goal provided the only points of the night for the Bears. It’s the final home game of the season for West Lincoln and with their county rivals from Loyd Star leading the region, expect a full effort from coach Brad Bland’s crew.


What to watch for Loyd Star?

The Hornets can’t beat themselves like they did last week at SAE. Loyd Star lost four fumbles against the Saints while also tossing an interception. Junior running back Julius Smith ran for 99 yards and two scores while Bryce Ford went for 119 yards on the ground and sophomore fullback James Goodwin carried the ball 10 times for 106 yards and a touchdown. The Hornets rushed for 343 yards on the ground, but saw the Saints get 222 passing yards and three touchdowns from quarterback Davis Cress.



Wesson at Magee High

7 p.m., Friday

Trojan Field, Magee

The Cobras (3-5) hit the road to battle the defending MHSAA 3A Champions in Simpson County. Magee (5-2) lost their head coach Teddy Dyess to Ridgeland after winning the title last season. They replaced him with Zach Jones, who won a 1A state title last season at Lumberton.


The last time these two teams met…

This is the first meeting between the schools.


What to watch for Wesson?

Sophomore running back Zevantae Stapleton had a huge game in the 48-32-win last week at Crystal Springs. Stapleton carried the ball 15 times for 102 yards and two scores. H also caught four passes for 28 yards and one TD. Junior Lucas Mcree led the Cobra defense with 10 tackles and junior defensive lineman Stevie Martin added nine stops for Wesson.


What to watch for Magee?

Senior running back Jawon Shaw leads the Trojan ground attack with 687 yards this season on 98 carries. Shaw has scored a team high six rushing touchdowns. COVID-19 delayed the start of the season for Magee. The Trojans lost the Simpson County Superbowl 31-0 to Mendenhall and lost 28-13 to the region leading Raleigh Lions last week.



Lawrence County vs. Purvis

LCHS Football Field, Monticello

Coach Jesse Anderson and his Cougars (5-3) will be favorites in their final home game of the season against the visiting Purvis Tornados (1-6) from Lamar County. A win over Sumrall last week established LC as the no. 3 seed from Region 7-4A. The Cougars could jump another spot next week with a win at Columbia High.


The last time these two teams met…

A 35-28 win by Lawrence County in 2018 was the first ever for the Cougars over the Golden Tornados. The first game between the schools was played in 2011 and Purvis won the first five meetings, all by large margins.


What to watch for Lawrence County?

The LC ground game has found a thunder and lightning duo from the combination of sophomore Ahmad Hardy and senior Tommy Broomfield. The pair did damage against Sumrall as Broomfield ran 14 times for 148 yards and one score. Hardy added 137 yards on 16 carries and scored three touchdowns. Junior Kenyon Vanison and sophomore Zion Thomas had nine tackles apiece to lead the LC defense.


What to watch for Purvis?

Brad Hankins is in his fourth year leading Purvis. The Tornados were 6-4 and lost a first-round playoff game last season. Purvis won their season opener 53-20 at Leake Central but have not won since.