High School Prediction - Priority One Bank - Mississippi Scoreboard

Long time sportswriter and high school football expert Robert Wilson is doing a predictions column each week during the high school football season on teams from Hinds, Madison and Rankin Counties. Robert went 17-2 last week (89.4 percent) and is 111-32 (77.6 percent) for the season.

Jackson Prep (6-1) at MRA (7-0)

So many storylines in this huge game:

Defending MAIS Class 6A state champion Madison-Ridgeland Academy puts its 14-game winning streak on the line. The Patriots have also won 31 of their last 34 games and 26 of the last 27 games against MAIS competition. The only MAIS loss in that streak was to Prep in the 2018 state championship game.

         Prep coach Ricky Black, the second winningest high school football coach in Mississippi history, can win his 400th career game with a win over MRA. He won 49 at Kosciusko High, 89 at Tupelo High and the last 261 at Prep. Black has won 13 state championships, all at Prep.

MRA broke Prep’s seven-year state championship streak with a 48-33 victory over Prep in last year’s 6A state title game. It was MRA’s first state title since 2004.

         Black and his defensive coordinator, Nick Brewer, pride themselves in having a sound defensive game plan and their players executing it. But Prep had never allowed what it did in last season’s state championship game. Prep could not slow down MRA quarterback Philip Short and the Patriots’ passing attack. Short passed for a Mississippi record 593 yards and five touchdowns and had four receivers with at least 100 yards. Black and Brewer will be focused on limiting MRA’s big plays in this year’s meeting.

         MRA coach Herbert Davis will be going for his 204th career win. He has won four state titles at three different schools, Brookhaven Academy in 1993 and 2008 and Pillow in 1997.  He is the only football coach in Mississippi history to take five different schools (MRA, Brookhaven Academy, Pillow, Heritage and Winston) to state championship games.

         MRA features an Under Armour All-American in junior linebacker Stone Blanton. Blanton, who has verbally committed to Mississippi State in baseball, has 21 Division I football offers, including seven SEC offers (MSU, Ole Miss, Arkansas, Kentucky, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas A&M). Blanton has a team-high 72 tackles, including 17 against Trinity (Texas) Christian, which came into the season opener ranked No. 12 in Texas. Blanton was a big reason why MRA pulled off a 27-26 win. He received praise from NFL Hall of Famer Deion Sanders, then the Trinity offensive coordinator and now the new Jackson State head coach.

Prep will have emotional edge in this one and could possibly jump out to an early lead, but MRA will take control of the game due to its superior size on the offensive and defensive lines and pull away from Prep in the second half.

MRA 28, Prep 14.

Richland (6-0) at Newton County (6-0)

Coach J.J. Plummer, in his second year at Richland, has his Rangers in uncharted territory. Never before has the Class 4A Rankin County team been undefeated so late into the season. Plummer broke Richland’s 13-game losing streak in his debut last year and won his first four games before losing the last seven. But the Rangers are much improved this season. Players like quarterback Logan Evans, running back Seth Shoto and wide receivers Malachi Newell and Micah Shoto led the offense. Gentry Davis, Ashton Johnson and Ivan Thames carry the defense.

Newton County, which beat Richland 25-14 and made the 4A quarterfinals last season, is better as well, led by quarterback Damon Mapp and running backs Carlios Walker and Carlonte Walker. The Cougars’ defense is very stingy, allowing only 5 points per game and hasn’t been scored on in the last 10 quarters.

Newton County 14, Richland 7.

Other games:

Crystal Springs (4-2) at Velma Jackson (4-0) W

W Florence (3-3) at Mendenhall (0-5)

W Hillcrest (2-6) at Columbus Christian (1-7)

George County (1-4) at Pearl (2-4) W

W Germantown (3-3) at Clinton (2-2)

W Lamar (5-2) at Hartfield (4-4)

W Leake (8-0) at East Rankin (1-7)

McLaurin (0-6) at Raleigh (3-3) W

W Northwest Rankin (5-1) at Petal (3-3)

W Oak Grove (5-0) at Terry (1-5)

Park Place (4-4) at Simpson (3-5) W

W Pisgah (3-3) at Pelahatchie (4-4)

Presbyterian Christian (7-1) at Jackson Academy (5-3) W

W Riverfield, La. (7-1) at Canton Academy (4-4)

W St. Stanislaus (4-2) at Madison St. Joseph (3-4)

Salem (1-5) at Puckett (6-0) W

W Silliman, La. (1-5) at Central Hinds (0-8)

W South Pike (4-2) at Raymond (4-3)

W Starkville (4-2) at Madison Central (5-2)

W Tri-County (5-2) at Newton County Academy (0-8)

Vicksburg (1-5) at Ridgeland (4-1) W

W Wilkinson Christian (7-0) at Rebul (0-8)

W Winston (5-3) at Clinton Christian (0-7)

W Yazoo City (1-4) at St. Andrew’s (1-5)