Week seven is here and region play is among us. See who James Pugh and Kevan Lindsey picked this week.
Current Records: James Pugh (11-5) and Kevan Lindsey (19-7).
West Jones at Laurel
While their overall records look dramatically different, West Jones (4-0) and Laurel (1-3) head into Friday night’s showdown unbeaten in Region 3-5A thus far. To be fair, though, West Jones’ solo win in the region was a forfeit by Forest Hill, who chose not to compete this year due to COVID-19 concerns.
West Jones held off a second-half surge by 2A powerhouse Taylorsville last Thursday night in Soso for a 35-21 victory, while Laurel used a second-half surge to complete a comeback against Natchez, 57-38.
West Jones is the more complete team. I don’t believe that can be argued against, but Laurel is still Laurel and pose a threat for an upset.
Will it happen?
James’ Prediction: West Jones 28, Laurel 14
Brookhaven at South Jones
Todd Breland got his first win as the Braves head coach last Thursday night against Pass Christian, 49-24. Now he’ll look to coach his new team to his first win in Region 3-5A this Friday night in Ellisville.
Not so fast.
South Jones hasn’t beaten Brookhaven in quite some time. They’ve come close (2017), but not in recent meetings.
According to MaxPreps, the good news is that Brookhaven hasn’t played but one game all season. But according to MaxPreps, Roger Satcher is still the head coach at South Jones, so who knows with that site these days.
South Jones is conditioned more and has more experience in this COVID-19 era. That’ll put the Braves over the top, in my humble opinion. Fingers crossed.
James’ Prediction: South Jones 35, Brookhaven 34.
Quitman at Northeast Jones
A win is a win, even if that win looks like a baseball score.
Last Thursday, NEJ grabbed its first win of the season - an 8-5 win over Florence. Yes, that’s right, 8-5. You don’t see final scores like that in football these days.
Northeast Jones’ major hurdle is its inability to score multiple times on offense. The Tigers haven’t scored more than eight points in a game all year.
The better news for NEJ is that Quitman hasn’t won a game so far in 2020. The even better, better news for NEJ is that Quitman hasn’t scored a point so far in three games played. That last sentence is probably not grammatically correct, I know, but it stresses my point.
Can NEJ score more than eight points this week, and let its defense do what its defense is more than capable of doing, which is holding opponents to very few points?
My heartstrings tug at me and say they can.
James’ Prediction: NEJ 13, Quitman 7.
Bay Springs at Mize
COVID has had its way with the Bay Springs football season, however, the Bulldogs are set to square off with the Bulldogs from Smith County Saturday at 11 a.m.
With a weird game start time and Bay Springs not being able to practice on their normal schedule, could we see an upset? Mize will have every opportunity to get a jump on Bay Springs. Will it be enough? I’m not so sure.
Despite all of the setbacks, I’ll put my prediction on Dan Brady and Bay Springs.
Kevan’s Prediction: Bay Springs 22, Mize 6.
Taylorsville at Enterprise
What an effort by Taylorsville last Thursday evening. A game that was not originally scheduled then pushed back due to weather, they gave 5A West Jones a run for their money. West Jones head coach Scott Pierson was quoted that the Tartars did not play like a 2A team, and he wants to see the two teams play regularly again.
Looking to this week’s contest, the road stays tough as the Tartars go on the road to take on undefeated Enterprise. Expect Ty Keyes and company to put an L in the Bulldogs win/loss column this week.
Kevan’s Prediction: Taylorsville 44, Enterprise 18.
Stringer at Leake County
The Red Devils cannot seem to catch a break in 2020.
After the upset of Resurrection Catholic and getting players back from quarantine, things seemed to be turning a corner. A tough loss to Union was magnified when a handful of starters went down with injuries. While the status of their starters won’t be known until game time, it is worth the note that they face a Leake County team who sits at 1-5 and was nearly upended by Sacred Heart.
Because of that, I’ll take the Red Devils who will once again find a way to grit through adversity.
Kevan’s Prediction: Stringer 28, Leake County 12.
Bowling Green at Sylva-Bay Academy
Hear that? That is the Saints marching in. With two-straight victories, they now sit atop the district. What a turnaround for head coach Terry Underwood and his young squad.
With that said, things get tough this week as they welcome Bowling Green to Jasper County. Last season, the Buccaneers took out some anger on the Saints and disposed of them 48-14.
While last season is last season, Sylva-Bay just needs to get out of this game healthy and focus on bringing home another district title.
Kevan’s Prediction: Bowling Green 44, Sylva-Bay 22.
McLaurin at Raleigh
How about those Lions? A 54-7 rear-end whooping is what Raleigh gave to Yazoo County last week. They welcome the 0-6 McLaurin Tigers to town this week with their whooping stick ready.
Expect the Perkins brothers to continue their strong 2020 season and the Lions to keep roaring. Raleigh could be the darkhorse team many in Class 3A football don’t want to see come playoff time.
Raleigh 56, McLaurin 6.