Local teams face tough region test Friday night

AHH! Fall is finally here as several area schools gear up for the month of October. For many of the schools this is the time to get down-and-dirty as the season really begins for the teams that have high hopes of making the playoffs in November.

Six local teams will have home games this Friday as local football fans gear up to support their favorite schools in their race to the playoffs in week seven of Friday Night Lights.

Franklin County will be having their homecoming festivities this Friday night as former and past alumni return to their alma maters for their class reunions. The Bulldogs welcome their region rivals the Wilkinson County Wildcats.

The Brookhaven Panthers finally return home to King Field after a month-long road tour to host the Wayne County War Eagles. Bogue Chitto entertains Resurrection on Troy Smith Field. Loyd Star hosts Amite County. West Lincoln welcomes Bassfield, and Wesson entertains Hazlehurst.

On the road, Brookhaven Academy travels to Simpson Academy. Enterprise invades East Marion, and Lawrence visits North Pike.

In other games of local interest, Copiah Academy hosts Oak Forest Academy, Parklane invades Presbyterian Christian and McComb travels to South Pike.

Here is just a reminder that all games are scheduled to start at 7 p.m.

In last week prognostications, I finished once again with a 5-4 record on my predictions. Hopefully, since it is officially district time for everyone, I can get it right this week. Don’t get wrong, I still enjoy it when our local teams come out to prove the prediction wrong. I would like to say congratulations to Franklin County for handing the Leake Central Gators their first loss of the season.

Brookhaven (3-2, 0-1), coached by Tommy Clopton, suffered a tough 27-15 defensive loss to Laurel last Friday.

This week, the Panthers’ region test gets even stronger as they prepare to host the Wayne County War Eagles at King Field.

The War Eagles (4-1, 1-0), coached by Todd Mangum, hammered the Natchez Bulldogs 55-14 in their first region game last week.

BHS’s top offensive performer last week was Tre McDaniel’s 165 yard rushing on 31 carries.

Defensively, Leo Lewis powered Ole Brook’s attack with 12 tackles. Greg Watts contributed nine stops.

Last year: Wayne County drilled Ole Brook 44-6.

My prediction for this Friday: The Panthers are excited to be home and will give the War Eagles all that they handle, but Wayne County will escape with a 35-21 win.

West Lincoln (3-3), coached by Willie Brumfield, enjoyed a great homecoming outcome last Friday after thumping the Union Christian Lions 20-0 on Perry Miller Field.

This week, the Bears will welcome the Bassfield Yellowjackets to town for an extremely tough region test.

Bassfield (5-1), under the direction of coach Lance Mancuso, are enjoying another great season after clobbering the Jackson Prep Patriots 41-14 last week.

West Lincoln’s top offensive performers from last week: Ty Forman led the Bears attack with 13 rushes for 184 yards and completed 4 of 7 passes for 70 yards. Bryce Temple had 14 rushes for 139 yards and Jade Use had 13 carries for 105 yards.

Defensively, Aaron Byrd paces the Bears with 11 tackles and two sacks. Lofton Sills contributed 11 tackles, one sack and one fumble recovery.

Last year: Bassfield defeated West Lincoln 69-0.

My prediction for this Friday: West Lincoln will get a first-hand look at the reigning state 2A champions’ power and speed as Bassfield claims 56-0 victory.

Brookhaven Academy (2-4, 1-1), under the direction of first-year coach Blake Purvis, were overpowered 35-0 last Friday by the Patriots of East Rankin.

This week, BA continues their road tour as they make a trip to Mendenhall to take on Simpson Academy in a battle between Cougars.

Simpson Academy (4-2, 1-0), coach by Winston Mullins, destroyed Wayne Academy 42-19.

BA’s top offensive performer last week was senior quarterback Heath Hickman completing 10-of-24 passes for 139 yards.

Defensively, Garrett Pace directed BA’s charge with 11.5 tackles. Michael Fiorella had a season-high 11 tackles.

Last year: Simpson Academy crushed BA 47-6 in the regular season and 38-14 in the post season.

My prediction for this Friday: It should be a great MAIS cat fight in Mendenhall, but Simpson Academy will prevail 42-30.

Loyd Star (2-4, 1-0), coached by first-year coach Adam Cook, suffered a tough 38-0 loss to the North Forrest Eagles last week in Hattiesburg.

This week, the Hornets return home to William E. “Sambo” Smith Field to host the Amite County Trojans for a huge district test.

The Trojans (1-5) are experiencing a rebuilding year under their new head football coach Sedric Cain. Amite County lost to Prentiss 36-18 last week.

Loyd Star’s top offensive performers last week were Zac Arnold and Brett Calcote. Sophomore running back Arnold powered the Hornets rushing attack with 13 carries for 70 yards, Calcote contributed 51 yards rushing on 14 carries.

Defensively, Calcote directed the Hornets with nine tackles. Anfernee Claire provided six stops. Austin Smith recovered two fumbles, and Nick Smith had one fumble recovery.

Last year: Amite County defeated Loyd Star 32-13.

My prediction for this Friday: The Hornets will sting the Trojans 21-20.

Bogue Chitto (1-5, 0-4), coached by Gareth Sartin, is experiencing a tough rebuilding year. The Bobcats battled the Dexter Bulldogs last Friday night and lost 38-19.

This week, the Bobcats are home after a two-week road tour and will host the Resurrection Eagles.

The Eagles (5-1, 3-1), coached by Scott Sisson, clobbered the Mount Olive Pirates 31-8 last week.

BC’s top offensive performers last week: Kobe Roberts had six carries for 130 yards to lead the team. Connor Douglas directed BC’s passing attack, completing six-of-10 passes for 140 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. Dee Dillon was the top receiver with three catches for 111 yards.

Defensively, Bo Smithers and Devaris Bullock led the Bobcats in tackles with seven tackles each. Matthew Black contributed with six tackles and a sack. Will Fauver had six stops and a fumble recovery.

Last year: Bogue Chitto surpassed Resurrection 17-12.

My pick for this Friday: The Eagles will soar past the Bobcats 35-21.

Enterprise (0-6, 0-1), coached by Brook Burns, is currently on a 36-game losing streak after being hammered by the Pisgah Dragons 49-8 on homecoming night last Friday.

This week, the Jackets are preparing for a road trip to Columbia to take on the East Marion Eagles in a Region 7-2A matchup.

The Eagles (2-4), coached by Kevin Jackson, fell to the Taylorsville Tartars 32-26 last week.

Enterprise’s top offensive performer: Braxton Thompson directed the Jackets ground attack with 23 rushes for 88 yards. Chance Lacking provided nine rushes for 62 yards.

Defensively, Devon Kirtfield and Tanner Waldrop were the leaders on the field for Enterprise with eight tackles apiece.

Last year: East Marion blanked Enterprise 42-0.

My prediction for this Friday: East Marion’s speed will overwhelm the Jackets as the Eagles cruise to a 49-8 victory.

Lawrence County (4-2), under the direction of first year head coach Jaymie Palmer, is coming off an impressive 27-26 victory over the Mendenhall Tigers last Friday.

This week, the Cougars are excited to start their region race as they prepare to invade Pricedale to tangle with North Pike Jaguars.

The Jaguars (4-2), coached by Chris Smith, picked up a big 49-42 win over the Northeast Jones Tigers.

Lawrence County’s top offensive performer last week was Charl’Tez Nunnery, completing 11 of 21 passes for 170 yards and two touchdowns. He also rushed for 42 yards and a touchdown.

Defensively, Cedric Rhodes, Brandon Armstrong and Willie Earl Bryant were the leading tacklers for the Cougars.

Last year: North Pike defeated Lawrence County 41-21 in Monticello.

My pick for this Friday: This should be a great game offensively and defensively as Lawrence County nips the Jaguars 15-14.

Wesson (2-4), coached by Ronald Greer, is currently riding a three-game losing streak after suffering a disappointing 22-14 loss the Salem in Walthall County.

This week, the Cobras begin their second tour through Region 7-3A competition as they prepare to welcome the Hazlehurst Indians to Stone Stadium.

The Indians (1-4) are currently in a rebuilding season under head coach Todd McDaniel. Hazlehurst returns to the gridiron this week after enjoying the week off to heal their injured players.

Wesson’s top offensive performer was Tyler Christmas completing four of nine passes for 94 yards. Kendrick Brown was the top rusher with 12 carries for 31 yards. Farrod Green had six carries for 32 yards and received two catches for 44 yards.

Defensively, Jeremiah Stapleton paced the Cobras with nine tackles. DeMarcus Smith had seven tackles, and Enrique Smith had six tackles.

Last Year:  Hazlehurst destroyed the Cobras 45-20.

My prediction for this Friday:  The Indians will notch a 42-21 win over Wesson.

Franklin County (2-3), coached by first-year head coach Anthony Hart, is coming off an impressive win last Friday knocking off the former undefeated Leake Central Gators 29-14.

This week, the Bulldogs are celebrating homecoming as they prepare to start their race Region 7-3A against the Wilkinson County Wildcats.

The Wildcats (2-4), coached by Kenneth Brown, were crushed by the Greenwood Bulldogs 62-19 last week.

Franklin County’s top offensive performer was senior Michael White as he showed off his speed and his big-play abilities by cashing in a 96-yard kickoff return and returning an interception back 75 yards for a touchdown.

Defensively, DeAnthony King and Chris O’Quinn led the Bulldogs with 15 tackles apiece. DeAnthony Hunt added five hits, two QB hurries and forced a fumble.

Last Year:  Wilkinson County defeated Franklin County 40-28.

My prediction for this Friday: The Wildcats will spoil FC’s homecoming with a 42-28 victory.