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

Published 1:00 pm Thursday, October 28, 2021

Bogue Chitto at Franklin County

7 p.m. Thursday

Louie Mullins Memorial Stadium, Meadville

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The Bobcats (7-2) have a non-region road game to end the season and hope above all else to leave Meadville with a healthy team. Like Bogue Chitto, Franklin County (3-5) will host a playoff game next week. The Bulldogs are 3-1 in Region 7-3A and have won three games in a row.


The last time these two teams met…

Way back in 2002, Franklin County won 26-12 in Meadville. The Bulldogs own a 1-4-1 advantage in the series that started in 1965.


What to watch for Bogue Chitto?

The BC ground game was rolling all game last week for coach Gareth Sartin. Sophomore Easton Sartin led the team’s rushing attack 31-8 win over Amite County. The sophomore carried the ball 13 times for 118 yards and two scores. Turner Thompson added 108 yards on 13 carries and senior Hunter Goebel almost gained 100 yards himself after finishing with 96 on 10 rushes.


What to watch for Franklin County?

Sophomore quarterback Va’Quez Rancifer passed for 114 yards and one score last week in a 28-14 win over Wilkinson County. Senior Ja’Marlin Green caught that touchdown pass and also scored twice on the ground for coach BJ Smithhart. FC beat Jefferson County 20-6 and Port Gibson 26-0 prior to the win over Wilkinson County.



Loyd Star vs. Amite County

7 p.m. Thursday

W.E. “Sambo” Smith Field, Brookhaven

The Region 7-2A champion Loyd Star Hornets (9-1) know they’ll be back on Smith Field again next week when they host an MHSAA first round playoff game. Coach Brian Ford’s team only has Amite County (3-4) standing in front of them as they want to finish with a perfect 4-0 division record.


The last time these two teams met…

Loyd Star won the first ever meeting between the schools in 2005 by a 20-18 final. The Trojans from Liberty then took the next eight games in a row in the series before the Hornets broke through for a 50-46 win in 2018. The Trojans have won the last two though including a 34-22 win at Loyd Star last season.


What to watch for Loyd Star?

All season the Hornets have used a “next man up” mentality when it comes to who’ll carry the load offensively. Last week in a 36-21 win at West Lincoln, it was junior Julius Smith who did the damage for the Hornets. Smith carried the ball 13 times for 86 yards and three scores. Freshman Omarion Clay added one rushing score on a 24-yard carry. Clay and Tristan Newell added a sack each for the Hornet defense.


What to watch for Amite County?

Coach Reginald Lumpkin and his team got very little done offensively last week against Bogue Chitto. Senior quarterback Kobe Johnson is the team leader for the Trojans as he’s thrown for three touchdowns and rushed for six more this season. AC lost 20-8 to East Marion and beat West Lincoln 38-3 before losing at Bogue Chitto last week.



West Lincoln at East Marion

7 p.m. Thursday

EM Eagle Field, Columbia

The 2021 season comes to an end in Marion County for coach Brad Bland and his West Lincoln Bears (0-8) as they face the East Marion Eagles (2-7).


Eat Marion played outside the division last week and lost 42-36 to Sacred Heart in Hattiesburg. The Bears battled with their rivals from Loyd Star last Friday in a game that was tied 21-21 at halftime. Two fourth quarter Hornet scores proved to be the difference in a 36-21 Loyd Star win.


The last time these two teams met…

The Bears are 0-3 in the all-time series that began in 2013. The last game matching these schools was a MHSAA 2A first round playoff matchup won by East Marion 58-21.


What to watch for West Lincoln?

The Bears got all three scores on the ground as they rushed for 234 yards against Loyd Star last week. Keeping possession of the football and stringing together long drives might be the formula to take East Marion out early on. One reason that West Lincoln played so well against the region champs from Loyd Star was the team didn’t turn the ball over, a trend they’d like to keep going Thursday night.


What to watch for East Marion?

The Eagles want to use explosive plays to move the ball. EM coach Brad Hughes saw his team finish with five different players averaging over 10-yards per carry in the loss to Sacred Heart. Loyd Star can tell you how quickly East Marion scores as the Eagles came roaring back from a large first quarter deficit in a game ultimately won 35-32 by the Hornets.



Lawrence County at Columbia

7 p.m. Thursday

Walter Payton Field, Columbia

The shimmering, impressive confines of Walter Payton Field are where the Lawrence County Cougars will wrap up the 2021 regular season. The Cougars (6-3) are the third placed team in Region 7-4A and are facing a Wildcat (8-1) team that’s been one of the best in 4A all season.


The last time these two teams met…

Columbia won 31-0 when the teams played last season and 20-13 in 2019. The last LC win in the series was a 40-21 playoff victory in 2015. The Cougars hold a 10-5 advantage in all-time meetings between the schools.


What to watch for Lawrence County?

Senior Tommy Broomfield had another monster game on the ground last week in a 34-0 win over Purvis for the Cougars. Broomfield rushed 12 times for 146 yards and three scores. Broomfield has 782 yards thus far in 2021 and has scored 10 touchdowns on 95 carries. Senior Dewayne Holloway leads the LC defense in tackles as the linebacker averages 10 stops per game.


What to watch for Columbia?

You don’t have to look hard to find senior defensive tackle Jaheim Oatis on the field for the Wildcats and coach Chip Bilderback. The 6-foot-4, 370-pound Oatis kind of stands out. A University of Alabama commit who holds offers from every school in the SEC, Oatis isn’t just some big body taking up space, last week he had 12 tackles, including five for a loss, in a 27-3 win at Poplarville (7-2).



Brookhaven High at Natchez

7 p.m. Friday

Tom F. Williams Memorial Stadium, Natchez

There are huge postseason implications for the top teams in Region 3-5A as the regular season wraps up over the next two weeks. For the Panthers (4-3) of Brookhaven High and coach Tucker Peavey, what they can control is winning the final two games which will be played at Natchez and then at South Jones next Thursday.


Ole Brook fans will also keep an eye on the games between Laurel and Wayne County and Hattiesburg and West Jones as the Panthers hope to jump from fourth place to second over the next two weeks.


The last time these two teams met…

BHS won 41-38 last season and 48-32 in 2019 as they try to take a third consecutive victory in the series. The Panthers have an 11-5 all-time advantage in head-to-head matchups between the schools and have won eight of the last ten.


What to watch for Brookhaven High?

Senior quarterback Dre Ross had a big game last week in a 41-6 win over Florence. Ross rushed for one score and 112 yards on six carries and passed for 147 yards and two touchdowns on just five completions. First team running back Xavier Gayten missed the game with an injury and his replacement Dashawn Wilson rushed 11 times for 112 yards and a score. Even big senior nose guard Caleb Harris found the endzone as he scored on a 4-yard touchdown run.


What to watch for Natchez?

NHS and coach Randy Craft are coming off a 30-6 win over South Jones last week. The Bulldogs have depth in their skill positions and a big senior quarterback in Kyreek Murray that can spread the ball around. Murray was 16-of-18 passing last week for 121 yards and two scores. Stopping junior receiver Mike Williams will be a priority for BHS as he leads the team with 575 yards and 11 touchdowns on 29 catches. The Bulldogs are balanced offensively too as junior running back Tray Minor has run for 912 yards on 93 carries and is averaging 9.3 yards every time he touches the ball.



Enterprise vs. Resurrection Catholic

7 p.m., Friday

Harry Cole Field, Brookhaven

It’ll be the final time for Enterprise fans to see their Yellow Jackets (4-5) on Cole Field Friday as the team wraps the season next week on the road at Mount Olive. Coach Trey Woodard and his squad look to keep the momentum of a two-game win streak going against another tough region foe in Resurrection Catholic (4-4).


The last time these two teams met…

The Jackets are 0-2 all time against Resurrection as they lost 55-0 in 2014 and 42-0 in 2013 to the Eagles from Pascagoula.


What to watch for Enterprise?

The EAC defense came alive in the big win at Lumberton last week as the Panthers got 20 points in the first quarter, but then only 18 combined over the final three quarters. Freshman linebacker Wyatt Garrett made a team high 20 tackles to lead the unit and senior Nick Stewart chipped in 12 stops. Both players had two tackles for a loss. Senior Brayden Polk had an interception that he returned 55 yards and Stewart, Garrett, Travis DeLaughter and Eli Fuller all recovered a fumble for Enterprise.


What to watch for Resurrection Catholic?

The Eagles lost 40-22 to Mount Olive last week and only have a 42-6 win over Salem in division play. Coach Lavon Capers and his team are in the first year of running a triple option flexbone offense, the type used by Army and Navy on the collegiate level. Seven different players have scored a rushing touchdown this season for RCHS, led by senior quarterback Riley Matthews with four. Matthews can pass as well though, as he’s thrown for 465 yards and seven touchdowns against just one interception in 2021.



Wesson vs. McLaurin

7 p.m., Friday

H.L. “Hook” Stone Stadium, Wesson

A win and Wesson are in the 3A playoffs as the fourth seeded team from Region 6-3A. The Cobras (3-6) beat Crystal Springs earlier this season and saw CSHS lose 50-18 last week to Hazlehurst.


MHSAA 2A teams around the state are playing on Thursday this week, but Wesson was forced to keep the game on Friday against McLaurin, due to Co-Lin hosting homecoming on Thursday.


The last time these two teams met…

The Cobras beat McLaurin 14-12 in 2016 when these teams last played. Wesson owns a 9-5 advantage in head-to-head meetings despite McLaurin winning the first three games between the schools from 1995-1997.


What to watch for Wesson?

Last week wasn’t much fun as Wesson went on the road and lost 52-0 at defending 3A state champion Magee. That loss is in the past now as the Cobras refocus on making the postseason and earning the right to play at Tylertown in the first round of the playoffs next week. Junior Justin Hailey was one of the bright spots in the loss at Magee as he caught four passes for 82 yards including a grab that went for 50-yards.


What to watch for McLaurin?

The Tigers (2-7) coached by former Loyd Star head coach Sid Wheatley have wins this season over West Lincoln (22-7) and St. Andrew’s (28-14). In their four region games this season McLaurin has been outscored a combine 215-21, including 68-7 loss to the region leading Raleigh Lions last week.