Friday night look ahead: County’s closest rivals Bogue Chitto, Enterprise to clash

Published 9:00 am Wednesday, September 6, 2023

Bogue Chitto (1-1) at Enterprise (1-1)

7 p.m., Harry Cole Field, Hwy. 583

Just seven miles separate the campuses of Enterprise Attendance Center and their county neighbors at Bogue Chitto. Expect parking spots around Harry Cole Field to disappear quickly on Friday as a big crowd will be on hand to see the schools meet for the 56th time in the history of their series.

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The 2A Bogue Chitto Bobcats hold a 38-17 all-time advantage in head-to-head meetings and come into the game having won six in a row over the 1A Enterprise Yellow Jackets. The Jackets last beat BC in 2016, when they took a 14-6 victory.

Regardless of who wins, expect way more points than that on Friday as both teams have playmakers in their skill positions.

The dynamic duo of juniors Daylan Barden and Landon McNickles ate up the St. Andrew’s defense last week in a 46-20 win on the road for Enterprise. Barden carried the ball 10 times for 150 yards and three touchdowns. McNickles chipped in 11 carries for 126 yards and one touchdown while also tossing another score to AJ Raiford for coach Trey Woodard.

Michael Magee led the EAC defense with 11 tackles against SAE.

Bogue Chitto had a similarly easy win on Friday at home over Salem. Senior running back Easton Sartin led the Bobcats in the 48-25 victory with 107 yards and one touchdown on just seven carries.

Linebacker Isaiah Collins returned an interception for a score and blocked a punt that ended in a touchdown for BC head coach Gareth Sartin. On offense, Collins also scored twice on the ground and stopping him will be a big part of the EAC defensive gameplan.

Bogue Chitto led 14-0 at halftime over Enterprise last season in an eventual 38-14 victory. In 2021, EAC led 12-7 after the first quarter at home, but Bogue Chitto scored 21 unanswered points in the second quarter to secure an eventual 38-20 win.

Bottling up Barden and McNickles near the line of scrimmage is going to be key for the Bobcat defense. Both offenses have weapons, but the Bobcats will hope to put together longer, sustained drives with strong play along the offensive line.

Brookhaven High (2-0) at Pearl High (2-0)

7 p.m., Ray Rogers Stadium, Pearl

Brookhaven High is 2-0 after winning two games over smaller foes in 4A Lawrence County and 3A Franklin County. On Friday, the Panthers will take to the road for the first time in 2023 and tackle a much tougher opponent in the 7A Pearl Pirates.

The Pirates are coming off a 2-9 season, which was the lowest win total for a Pearl team since 1974.

It appears the Pirates have righted the ship though as they’re 2-0 so far in 2023, including a 25-24 win in overtime over 6A Warren Central last week.

Pearl scored to pull within one in overtime and then elected to go for the win and attempt a 2-point conversion. Quarterback Jack Durr tucked the ball and found the endzone to give Pearl a win that broke a three-year winning streak in the series for Warren Central.

BHS got another monster game from senior Xavier Gayten in a 21-14 victory over Franklin County on Friday. The Mississippi State commit ran the ball 18 times for 237 yards and two scores. Freshman quarterback Jaden Allen threw a touchdown pass to Samarion Buckley for the other Panther score.

Senior Nathan Lewis led the Panthers on defense with 10 tackles. Lewis also recovered a fumble and Dequane Fox snagged an interception for BHS and head coach Tucker Peavey.

Brookhaven Academy (0-3) at Adams County Christian School (3-1)

7 p.m., Bobby Marks Stadium, Natchez

The road show for Brookhaven Academy rolls on as they play in hostile territory for a third time in four weeks. The Cougars are taking on another MAIS District 3-5A foe in the always potent Adams County Christian School Rebels.

Most of the 5A schools in the MAIS can’t hang for very long with the top tier of the 6A ranks that MRA and Jackson Prep occupy. That’s not the case for ACCS, who only trailed Prep 10-6 after three quarters in their meeting earlier this season. Prep went on to win 24-12, which is the only blemish thus far for a 3-1 ACCS squad.

BA and coach Reggie Lea saw another 5A title contender last week when they traveled to their district opponents from Oak Forest Academy.

OFA led 35-0 after the first quarter in an eventual 49-14 win for the Yellow Jackets.

BA got two second half touchdown runs from senior quarterback Samuel Evans in the loss.

The Cougars travel to Natchez on Friday and then host a team from Natchez the next week when Cathedral School comes to town for a district matchup on Sept. 15.

Loyd Star (1-1) at Salem (0-2)

7 p.m., Wildcat Field, Tylertown

Loyd Star will be the road favorites on Friday as they travel to Walthall County to take on the Salem Wildcats.

Looking to bounce back from a loss at home to Wesson, the Hornets are facing a 1A Salem squad that’s lost 30 games in a row.

Salem does have one bell cow on its roster in junior Chris Riley. Last season Riley threw for 1,300 yards and ran for another 1,000 yards in nine games. He also led the Wildcats in tackles as Salem was coached last season by current Loyd Star assistant coach John Smith.

For first-year Loyd Star coach Adam Smith, there were bright spots last week in a 48-15 loss to Wesson. The Hornets had success at times moving the ball behind the play of freshman quarterback Jordyn Kees and junior running back Omarion Clay.

The last time Salem beat Loyd Star was in 1995, a 29-2 win for the Wildcats at home.

West Lincoln (0-2) at Puckett High (2-0)

7 p.m., Wolves Field, Puckett

The West Lincoln Bears will renew their rivalry with the Puckett Wolves on Friday in Rankin County.

The Wolves, a program with as much tradition as anyone in the MHSAA 1A-2A ranks, is off to a 2-0 start after beating Mount Olive 12-0 and then blowing out McLaurin 47-0 last week. Puckett went 6-4 last season, including a 35-2 win over West Lincoln.

The Bears beat Puckett 26-24 in 2017 and had a memorable 60-57 home loss to the Wolves in 2019.

Stopping the Puckett passing game will be a big key for West Lincoln as PHS quarterback Jaxon Elmore threw for 154 yards and three scores last week against McLaurin.

The Bears saw Sacred Heart quarterback Kyron Murphy finish 8-of-10 for 162 yards and three scores last week in a 35-7 victory for the Crusaders of Hattiesburg at West Lincoln.

West Lincoln got its first touchdown of the season in the loss to Sacred Heart as sophomore running back Braden Hamm found the endzone for the Bears in the second half.

Lawrence County (0-2) vs. East Central (0-2)

7 p.m., Cougar Field, Monticello

Two teams with strong histories of running the football and an even stronger desire to get the first win of the 2023 season will meet when Lawrence County entertains East Central on Friday.

It’ll be the home debut for the Cougars from Monticello who lost a tough road game 27-24 last week at 3A title contender Jefferson Davis County.

Against JDC, coach Jesse Anderson and his Cougars got 140 yards and two touchdowns on the ground from senior running back Ahmad Hardy. Senior quarterback Kannon Cato chipped in 80 yards on eight carries. Cato scored once on the ground and was 2-of-2 passing for 47 yards and another score.

Junior Lauria McDuffey pulled in that scoring catch for a 42-yard touchdown.

The 5A East Central Hornets are on their third different coach during the last five years. The program was built into a 4A contender under the leadership of former coach Seth Smith, going a combined 25-2 from 2017-2018 before reclassification moved the Hornets back up to the 5A ranks.

LC and EC met in the 2015 MHSAA 4A playoffs, a 26-20 win for the Cougars under then head coach Jaymie Palmer.

Smith was hired to be the head coach at Pearl River CC following the 2019 season and for the next two years, East Central was led by head coach Eric Collins. Collins left for a job in Louisiana at Pearl River High School and was replaced by longtime EC assistant coach Sam Huff.

The Hornets went 8-3 last season but are off to a 0-2 start following a 28-7 loss at George County and a 34-7 defeat last week to Pascagoula.

Wesson (2-0) vs. Perry Central (0-2)

7 p.m., H.L. “Hook” Stone Stadium, Wesson

Perry Central, also known as that school you pass on Highway 98 when you’re driving to the beach, will make the 115-mile trek north on Friday to pay a visit to the Wesson Cobras.

It’s the first ever meeting between the Cobras and the Bulldogs from New Augusta. A win would move Wesson to 3-0, a record the Cobras haven’t opened a season with since 2012.

Perry Central is in its first year under the leadership of one of the programs’ all-time greats, former PC and Mississippi State running back Nick Griffin.

Griffin has been an assistant at Madison Central since his playing days ended and his first team at Perry Central is 0-2 to start the year after losing 52-28 against Heidelberg in the opener then falling 38-34 last week against Amite County.

Wesson showed off a plethora of skill position talent last week in a 48-15 win over Loyd Star.

Junior quarterback Cole Gibson finished 9-of-10 passing for 128 yards and one touchdown. Gibson split snaps es with junior Wyatt Garrett, who finished 6-of-9 through the air for 102 yards and another score.

Senior running back Zevantae Stapleton rushed 13 times for 68 yards and a touchdown against Loyd Star.

Sophomore O’Mari Johnson had four carries for 109 yards and two touchdowns, four catches for 58 yards and a 70-yard interception score for a score to help lead Wesson to the win.

Junior Deshawn Smith was another top player for the Cobras as he hauled in six passes for 78 yards and two touchdowns.

Junior linebacker Cotton Westbrook made 11 solo tackles to lead the Cobra defense against Loyd Star.