HERNANDO -- The payoff came Friday night for Columbus High School senior Marquavius Mitchell. "Marquavius was down earlier in the year because he wasn't getting that many balls," Columbus junior quarterback C.J. Gholar said. "I told him to keep his head up because his day was coming. He is a great playmaker. I told him his day was coming."
WEST POINT -- Starkville High School senior Keith Harris struggles to find the right word to describe his team. "We aren't the underdog because we are No. 1 team in the state," Harris said. "But coach wants us to play like we are the underdog. That is our mentality. This is a new season, and we are going to have to scrap for everything we get." Starkville, the reigning Mississippi High School Activities Association Class 6A state champion, used a 19-2 run to pull away late for a 77-59 victory against West Point in the final game of the season-opening West Point Classic on Saturday night.
Friday's Mississippi Prep Football Scores
ABERDEEN -- Two time-honored sports axioms came into play here Thursday, as the Aberdeen High School football team played host to Belmont in the first round of the Mississippi High School Activities Association Class 3A playoffs. "The race is not always to the swift but to those who keep on running" could very well have applied to Belmont, which outgained Aberdeen in rushing yards, 128-118.
MACON -- When the Noxubee County and Amory high school football teams last met in 2011, the Tigers' championship hopes ended in a one-point loss to the Panthers in the second round of the Mississippi High School Activities Association Class 4A playoffs.
WEST POINT -- Two numbers -- 50 and 28 -- are displayed prominently in the West Point High School locker room. To the casual observer, the numbers might not stand out. To a West Point defensive player, the back story can be shared rather quickly. "Coach writes down 50 and 28 just about every day," West Point senior linebacker Nick Melton said. "Everywhere we go, it is somewhere. It means a lot to us. It is the motivation when things are tough. It's there when we need to be pushed that one extra mile."
It pays to have a coach on the floor when you're building to win a championship. That's why Columbus High School boys basketball first-year head coach Luther Riley had to smile when told senior point guard Javontae McDavid talked first about what the team needs to work on rather than the assists and the flurry of dunks that were a part of an 88-50 season-opening victory against Shannon.
The championship journey begins tonight. Don't worry, though, because Luther Riley won't have any butterflies when his Columbus High School boys basketball team hits the floor at 7:30 tonight for its season opener against Shannon. After all, when you have won four state titles and a Grand Slam championship at John W. Provine High boys basketball team in Jackson, you're probably used to the hype that accompanies a new season.
STARKVILLE -- Jakoby Jones was at a crossroads. The former East Oktibbeha County High School Titan didn't know what his future held for him in football. When it was announced that the Oktibbeha County School District would consolidate with the Starkville School District in the fall of 2015, the first thought that went through Jones' head was, "Oh boy."
On paper, the Columbus High School football team's Mississippi High School Activities Association Class 6A, Region 1 matchup against Hernando holds little significance. Columbus (7-3, 5-1 region) has secured a first-round home playoff game against Warren Central or Clinton when the Class 6A postseason begins Nov. 13. Hernando (7-4, 2-4) will see its season end when the final horn sounds. For the Falcons, though, this game is a really big deal.
Chris Webber wasn't going to let Billy Thomas leave McAllister's without asking the question the had been nagging him all summer. "So when do we start practice," Webber asked Thomas, who was sitting in his car in the drive-thru waiting for his food. Thomas, who coached the Columbus Christian Academy girls track and field team at the end of the 2014-15 school year, didn't have an answer. He didn't even know if there was enough interest at the school to field a team, so he encouraged Webber to talk to his friends and see if the interest was there to have a team.
MACON -- It didn't take long for Michael Dawkins and Bryan Ricks to know they had found their quarterback.
STARKVILLE -- Colt Chrestman has learned to be patient. As much as the Starkville Academy senior wide receiver enjoys catching passes from senior quarterback Houston Clark with effortless efficiency, Chrestman understands that is only part of the job he plays for a young coach who likes an old-school approach.
BATESVILLE -- The No. 10 Columbus High School football team knew its margin for error was slim Friday night against No. 1 South Panola. The Falcons then went out and fumbled the opening kickoff anyway. Columbus fought for four quarters -- a trait that has punctuated a five-game region winning streak -- but the state's top-ranked team didn't need any extra favors in a 35-13 victory in a Mississippi High School Activities Association Class 6A, Region 1 game at Dunlap Stadium.
CLINTON, La. -- The Heritage Academy football team saw its season end Friday night with a 43-7 loss to Silliman Institute in the opening-round of the Mississippi Association of Independent Schools Class AAA playoffs.
Immediately following the West Point High School football team's 44-0 victory against New Hope on Friday night, Jeffrey Drake had his mind on Oxford High. Never mind next week's regular-season finale against Lewisburg, or whichever opponents the Green Wave will face in the Mississippi High School Activities Association Class 5A playoffs before a potential rematch against its division rival.
ABERDEEN -- Nettleton High School offensive coordinator Ken Topps brought his high-flying aerial attack to Aberdeen's Senior Night on Friday evening, but his one-dimensional offense proved to be ineffective, as the Bulldogs posted a 46-7 victory in a Mississippi High School Activities Association Class 3A, Region 4 game.
VICKSBURG -- When Maleke Bell makes a tackle, he brings everything he has. Starkville High School's 6-foot-2, 260-pound senior defensive lineman pursues ball carriers with reckless abandonment. He doesn't care who it is, where it is, or when it is. He's trying to make a big play and change the momentum of the game. Bell accomplished his goal Friday night, forcing a fumble that Nelson Jordan recovered early in the fourth quarter to stop a Warren Central drive. The turnover propelled Starkville to a 28-10 victory in a Mississippi High School Activities Association Class 6A, Region 2 game at Viking Stadium.
Defense was the name of the game on Friday night at Panther Field, as the West Lowndes High School football team defeated Coffeeville 16-0 in a pivotal Mississippi High School Activities Association Class 1A, Region 1 game.
VICKSBURG -- The Starkville High School football team took one step closer to winning the district championship Friday, beating Warren Central 28-10 at Viking Stadium. The victory helped the Yellow Jackets win their ninth-straight game and clinch at least one of the top two seeds in Mississippi High School Activities Association Class 6A, Region 2 and home-field advantage in the first round of the playoffs.
1. MSU eager to reclaim Egg Bowl trophy COLLEGE SPORTS
2. Columbus boys beat Callaway HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
3. Avery Brown keeps Starkville High's tradition at RB going HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
4. Kelly excited to be part of his first Egg Bowl COLLEGE SPORTS
5. Dillingham emerging as bigger threat on offense COLLEGE SPORTS