It's finally here. Teams have worked hard to get to the biggest stage in high school football, the State Championships. There are 12 teams left and all will be fighting for the trophy in the next two days. It should be a great week of high school football in Mississippi and we've got you covered here on BulldogBlitz.com. Let's take a look at my picks from last week and where I am on the season picking my top five games each week.
Last Week's Record: 4-1
Season Record 53-22
Now, my game of the week and four more games to watch.
Game of the Week: Louisville vs. Hazelhurst: It was a tough call to pick the 3A Championship over 6A, but I feel like this could be the best matchup of the weekend. Louisville has clearly been the best team in the classification and you can make a case that the Wildcats would be one of the top teams in the state in any classification with a roster full of talent and over 30 seniors on the team.
Everything has come together for Louisville to win the State Championship this year. This has been simply the most talented team that the program has had since 2008 when they won their second-consecutive 3A title and they've shown up to play every week like they should. Quarterback Wyatt Roberts has been unflappable in his senior season and has weapons like Demarcus Brooks, Desmond Goss and Dontae Jones to work with. On the defensive side of the ball, Jeremy Sangster has been beastly as the norm and the crew has been one of the more overlooked in the state when compared to what the offense has done. Hazlehurst has been the consensus favorite on their side of the bracket as well matching up the two top teams in 3A for a dream matchup.
The Indians have been a consistent power in 3A when Louisville has not been around and were State champs a year ago. Their lone setback this season came to 2A powerhouse Bassfield back in October and they've reeled off 10-straight wins to make it to Jackson. I expect Hazelhurst to give the Wildcats the toughest contest of the year, but this is Louisville's season. I think they win title number eight on Saturday morning and cap off an incredible undefeated season.
Oak Grove vs. Tupelo: The Warriors of Oak Grove have been one of the great stories of the 2013 season under coach Nevil Barr and their offense has been nothing short of prolific. Let by quarterback Kirk McCarty, Oak Grove has thrown for nearly 4,000 yards as McCarty has passed for 42 touchdowns. The most dangerous thing about the Brett Favre-led offense is the receivers that McCarty has the opportunity to throw to. 38 touchdowns and more than 700 yards a piece has come from four different receivers including junior Cameron Myers who is a rising name around the state.
Something has to give, though, as the Tupelo Golden Wave rolls into town with THE biggest story of 2013. A state power in nearly every sport but football, Head Coach Trent Hammond has set out to change things and it's turned into them blankets ranking in the top five in the state and making it to Jackson for the first time since the 1990's. The offense hasn't been as big as a threat as the Oak Grove group, but the defense has been one of the state's best giving South Panola their toughest test of the year in the regular season before disposing of the Tigers last week at Tupelo. This is going to be a fun one to watch and both teams really deserve a title this season. I think Oak Grove will find ways to score points and pull it out. Oak Grove
Bassfield vs. Calhoun City: This is a game that I feel will be the least of the competitive matchups. That is no slight towards Calhoun City whom has become one of the toughest teams in the north every year, but Bassfield has been on a different level than anyone in the state in just about any classification. The Yellow Jackets have blown the competition away after their loss to Jackson Prep earlier in the season and they've cruised to the State Championship once again.
Last season, Bassfield put Eupora away quickly and won the 2A crown with ease. I think the athletes on the field will be too much to overcome for Calhoun City and the Yellow Jackets will roll to yet another championship on its star-studded roster.
Oxford vs. Picayune: The Chargers met their toughest match of the season last week in the North State Championship when Callaway came to O-town to try to get a trip to Jackson. Surprisingly, it was no contest for the visiting Chargers as Oxford rolled to victory as they have all season. With a roster full of talent, mostly young, the Chargers appear to be the team to beat and head on to an undefeated season.
I wouldn't be surprised to see this become a game, however. The Maroon Tide always seem to find themselves making their way to the finals in 5A as they've controlled the coast in the past and they have their horses as well. Running back Preston Dedeaux has been a load all season rushing for over 1800 yards and will be a key target for the tough Oxford defense and MSU commit Darrius Liggins. In the end, I think Oxford wins it all. Oxford
Lafayette vs. Forrest County AHS : My final game on the docket features two in-state commits who will find themselves facing off against each other for the next couple of years in the Egg Bowl. Ole Miss commit D.K. Buford has been a big reason why the Commodores have reeled off seven-straight wins after appearing dead in the water. Buford has rushed for over 1,000 yards on the year and has accounted for 18 Lafayette touchdowns.
On the other side of the ball, MSU commit Dontavion Lee has been a force as he's helped FCAHS to eight-straight wins of their own. Lee has got it done on both sides with over 1,500 yards rushing and 13 touchdowns as well as nearly 400 yards receiving and seven more touchdown catches. On defense, he's been called to lead his team as well and has answered the call with nearly 50 tackles and several turnovers that have sealed ball games.
This will be another great battle this weekend and I expect it to come down to the wire. In the end, I think Lee will make a play to win the ball game. Forrest County AHS
Now let's take a look at my top 25 this week for the state of Mississippi.
1. Oxford (14-0) 5A
2. Louisville (15-0) 3A
3. Oak Grove (13-1) 6A
4. Tupelo (13-1) 6A
5. Bassfield (14-1) 2A
6. South Panola (13-2) 6A
7. Hazlehurst (14-1) 3A
8. Picayune (11-2) 5A
9. Callaway (14-1) 5A
10. Brandon (11-2) 6A
11. Petal (10-3) 6A
12. Meridian (10-4) 6A
13. Laurel (12-1) 5A
14. Forrest County AHS (11-2) 4A
15. Wayne County (10-3) 5A
16. Madison Central (9-4) 6A
17. Pearl (11-3) 5A
18. Charleston (12-2) 3A
19. Jackson Prep (11-2) MAIS-AAA
20. St. Stansislaus (12-1) 4A
21. Pascagoula (10-2) 5A
22. Gulfport (9-3) 6A
23. Rosa Fort (11-2) 4A
24. Noxubee County (9-4) 4A
25. Wilkinson County (11-4) 3A