Long time sportswriter and high school football expert Robert Wilson will be doing a predictions column each week during the high school football season on teams from Hinds, Madison and Rankin Counties. There are only three games this week, but the majority of the teams will begin play next week.
MRA vs Bessemer Academy
MRA at Bessemer Academy: Senior quarterback Phillip Short, a Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College commitment, and senior wide receiver Joe Perkins, a Colorado commit, will show the crowd at the SECIS Kickoff Classic in Montgomery, Ala., Friday night why they are the most explosive duo in the MAIS. Short passed for 3,023 yards and 34 touchdowns and Perkins caught 34 passes for 571 yards and seven TDs as they led MRA to 12 straight victories before losing to Jackson Prep in the championship game last season. Short and Perkins will get coach Herbert Davis’ sixth season at MRA off to a great start against overmatched Bessemer Academy.
Amite School Center vs Hillcrest
Amite School Center at Hillcrest: Hillcrest comes into Friday night’s game with the state’s longest losing streak at 23 games. But first-year coach Shay Hodge has brought a winning attitude like he had when he was an All-SEC wide receiver at Ole Miss and in the NFL. Look for that attitude to translate into a Cougar victory, the first one since 2016. Their last win was 33-7 against this same Amite team. This one won’t be as easy, but it is still a move into the right direction.
Park Place Christian Academy vs Central Holmes Christian Academy
Park Place Christian Academy at Central Holmes Christian Academy: Doug Elkins starts his fourth season as head coach of the Park Place Crusaders and as one of the fastest growing schools in the MAIS along with it comes the difficult task of moving up to play football in Class 5A. Park Place was playing eight-man football only three years ago. Even though Central Holmes is Class 3A, the Trojans have too much speed for the Crusaders.
Central Holmes 26-13.