Friday Night Blitz: Week 3

A wild, wild week in the state of Mississippi last week meant that football season is in full force. Top 25 teams going up against each other in week two and they didn't disappoint. West Point put up 33 points on the defending 6A champs but South Panola countered with 55 of their own. Petal and Picayune put up 119 points between the two of them and, most importantly, I made up for my 2-3 scorecard in week one by picking all but one game correct in week two. Here's my tally so far followed by this week's top five games of the week.
Last Week's Record: 4-1
Season Record 6-4
Game of the Week: South Panola vs. Meridian: This week's game of the week features South Panola for the second-consecutive time. The Tigers got a big win over West Point on Friday and moved to 2-0 on the young season. Meridian is closing in on top five status in my top 25 as South Panola sits at number two. Meridian's offense is nearing the effectiveness of what they were with Tyler Russell and Chris Smith in 2008 as junior J'mar Smith and his senior wide out C.J. Hampton who look to make life tough for the visiting Tigers.
In the end, I feel like the talent level at South Panola will be too much for the Wildcats and the Tigers will move on to 3-0.
South Panola
Cleveland East Side vs. Oxford: Oxford has obviously proved me wrong during the first two weeks. Lots of talent emerges from the Chargers and I think they will be a force this season. Their tough schedule continues to get tougher this week with Cleveland East Side coming to town but I'm not betting against the Chargers a third-consecutive week.
Greene County vs. Pascagoula: A big game down towards the south of our great state matches two of my top 25 teams for week three. Goula has built a strong program in the past few years but so has Green County coming in as one of the top teams in their division this year. One of the two will be on the fast track for the top 10 sooner rather than later with a win and move to 3-0 on the year. I think Pascagoula will have too much offensively for Green County and pull this one off in the fourth quarter.
Louisville vs. Noxubee County: Well what can you say about this rivalry? It might be the most bitter in the state of Mississippi. Louisville took a step down to 3A this season but could very well be competing for 4A this season had they stayed. Noxubee County is coming off of an undefeated season in 2012 in which they beat the Wildcats twice. This season, however, Louisville is the team bringing all of the talent back and Noxubee may very well be the one team that can beat them this year. This one is always fun.
Starkville vs. West Point: Both of these rivals come into Friday night desperately needing to win this game. The Yellow Jackets got a big win in week one against Noxubee but blew a 10-point week in a big game last week against Oxford. West Point started their season off with a big offensive performance but nothing to show for it losing to South Panola. Neither one can afford another loss this early and both teams will play like it on Friday. In the end, I think Starkville will have too much for West Point.
Player(s) of the Week: Since this is my post I get to make my own rules, basically. There are two ballgames in which running backs ran wild and cannot be denied players of the week. If I had to choose just one of them, the most eye-popping stat sheet came from the Petal/Picayune game in a 61-58 shootout. Running back Tyus Raine toted the rock just 21 times but for 334 yards and SIX touchdowns. If you're tallying this up, that's nearly 16 yards per-carry by Raine. Also running in that game was the talented running back Preston Dedeaux did his share in the game as well carrying the ball 35 times for 283 yards and two TDs.
The other ball game that had wild numbers was West Point and South Panola at Batesville. West Point's Aeris Williams had such a great game, South Panola coach Lance Pogue commented that he was the greatest running back he had faced in 21 years of coaching. Williams, an MSU commit, rushed 32 times for 194 yards and four touchdowns while taking full control of the offense and special teams. Darrell Henderson returned the favor for South Panola tallying 318 yards total in the game scoring six touchdowns in the 55-33 victory. Wild week.
Now let's take a look at this week's top 25 for the state of Mississippi. There's a little movement here and there, but the top three teams stay the same.
Top 25:
1. Brandon (2-0)
2. South Panola (2-0)
3. Olive Branch (2-0)
4. Petal (2-0)
5. Oak Grove (2-0)
6. Meridian (2-0)
7. Madison Central (1-1)
8. Louisville (2-0)
9. Bassfield (2-0)
10. Pascagoula (2-0)
11. Picayune (0-1)
12. West Point (0-1)
13. Oxford (2-0)
14. Hazelhurst (2-0)
15. Starkville (1-1)
16. Noxubee County (1-1)
17. Gulfport (1-1)
18. Greene County (2-0)
19. Callaway(2-0)
20. Charleston (2-0)
21. Wayne County (0-1)
22. Pearl River Central (1-1)
23. Biloxi (2-0)
24. McComb (2-0)
25. Tupelo (2-0)