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 19-5 last week (79.1 percent) and is 130-37 (77.8 percent) for the season.
Clinton (4-2) at Warren Central (7-0)
Clinton knocked off South Panola, the most dominant high school football program in Mississippi over the past decade, three weeks ago with a 24-21 victory in Clinton. South Panola, who won three state titles over the past decade and a state record 12 state titles, took a back seat to Clinton and senior quarterback Caleb Miller that night. Miller was named the Junction Deli/Mississippi Scoreboard Metro Jackson Football Player of the Week and passed for 129 yards and two touchdowns and ran for 73 yards and one TD in a Class 6A, Region 2 win. South Panola came in with 15 wins in its last 17 games.
Now Miller and Clinton take on another traditional powerhouse in Warren Central. Legendary coach LumWright built the Vikings into an outstanding program in the 1970s and early 1980s. Robert Morgan, Wright’s long time assistant, took over for Wright and coached Warren Central from 1985-2003. Now one of Morgan’s sons, Josh, is the head Viking, in his 11th season. Josh played at Warren Central in the late 1990s and played at safety at Mississippi State in the early 2000s. Josh has the Vikings rolling this season, especially on defense where they have allowed only 6.8 points per game.
These games are always close. Two of the last four have gone to overtime and six of the last nine have been decided by six points or less. Warren Central won last year 13-6.
Warren Central 14, Clinton 7.
Madison Central (6-2) at South Panola (5-2)
The last time the Jaguars visited the University of South Panola they came away with a 31-14 victory in the first round of the Class 6A playoffs in 2017. It was one of the most lopsided losses in South Panola history at home. And a sophomore quarterback, Jimmy “The Jet” Holiday, was the star, running for three TDs and throwing for one. Holiday had taken over when starter J.D. Hull was injured earlier in the season. The Jaguars finished 11-3 and had one of the best records in school history.
Sophomore Vic Sutton got his first start at quarterback last week and led Madison Central to a 15-9 upset over No. 1 Starkville. Madison Central had lost starter Tate Collins to an injury several weeks ago and had started defensive back Creek Robertson until last week. Sutton scored the winning TD with 5 minutes to play against Starkville. The Jaguars slowed down Florida State commit and Starkville star quarterback Luke Altmyer and held him to one TD. Madison Central will need another solid game from Sutton and Robertson, one of the most versatile players in Mississippi, to pull off this one. Robertson, a cornerback, leads the Jaguars with 60 tackles and also plays receiver and quarterback and returns punt.
This South Panola team might not be as talented as some of those undefeated and state championship teams in the past, but the Tigers are dangerous, especially talented wide receiver and Memphis commit Cameron Wright.
South Panola 24, Madison Central 21.
Other games: (Winner in bold)
Benton Academy (5-4) at Park Place (4-5)
Brandon (4-4) at Oak Grove (6-0)
Canton (2-4) at Vicksburg (2-6)
Canton Academy (4-5) at Indianola (5-4)
Central Hinds (0-9) at Adams County Christian (7-2)
Cleveland Central (3-4) at Germantown (3-4)
Clinton Christian (0-8) at Riverfield, La. (7-1)
East Rankin (1-8) at Lamar (5-3)
Hartfield (5-4) at Tri-County (6-2)
MRA (8-0) at Presbyterian Christian (7-2)
Newton County (7-0) at Florence (3-4)
North Pike (5-2) at Raymond (3-4)
Parklane (4-3) at Jackson Prep (6-2)
Pearl (3-4) at Northwest Rankin (6-1)
Pelahatchie (5-4) at Madison St. Joseph (2-5)
Puckett (8-0) at Taylorsville (6-1)
Rebul (0-9) at Briarfield, La. (6-0)
Richland (6-1) at Quitman (1-3)
Ridgeland (6-1) at Neshoba Central (7-0)
Riverside (3-1) at Pisgah (3-4)
St. Andrew’s (1-6) at Raleigh (4-3)
Terry (1-6) at George County (1-5), Saturday
Velma Jackson (5-0) at McLaurin (0-7)