Long time sportswriter and high school football expert Robert Wilson has written a predictions column each week during the high school football season and has a 265-89 this season (74.8 percent). This will be the last picks column of this season. The MHSAA state championships are this weekend at Southern Miss in Hattiesburg.
Class 6A, Friday at 7 p.m.
Oxford (13-1) vs. Oak Grove (11-3)
Oxford lost three straight state championships from 2013-2015. Oxford coach Chris Cutcliffe, son of former Ole Miss coach and current Duke coach David Cutcliffe, brings home the title this time. Oxford kicker Jack Tannehill, son of Oxford Mayor Robyn Tannehill, hits the game-winner in the last few minutes.
Class 5A, Saturday at 7 p.m.
West Point (14-1) vs. Picayune (14-0)
West Point has won the last three state championships, but the Green Wave have met their match this year. Not only is Picayune very good, but the Maroon Tide is playing for their coach, Dodd Lee, who is retiring after this game. Dodd has a 265-101 career record in 39 years, including a 223-70 record in 24 years at Picayune. Dodd gets No. 266.
Class 4A, Saturday at 11 a.m.
Corinth (13-1) vs. Poplarville (9-5)
Corinth has averaged 43 points in four playoff games. The Warriors might not get 43 against Poplarville, but they will get enough for their first state championship. Poplarville, in its third state title in the past four years, can’t hang with Corinth.
Class 3A, Friday at 11 a.m.
Noxubee County (10-5) vs. Jefferson Davis County (9-5)
First-year Noxubee coach Young will keep the championship tradition going with a win to five Noxubee five state titles in the past eight years. Lance Mansuco won several state titles when he coached at Bassfield before Prentiss and Bassfield consolidated in 2017 and won a state title in the school’s first year. But Noxubee is too strong.
Class 2A, Saturday at 3 p.m.
Northside (14-0) vs. Taylorsville (14-1)
Taylorsville junior quarterback Ty Keyes might be the most exciting player in these six championships. He has passed and ran for 41 touchdowns this season. The Tartars won the state title in 2017 and was runner-up last season and have lost only three games in three seasons. Northside is its second year of being a school.
Class 1A, Friday at 3 p.m.
Nanih Waiya (13-1) vs. Lumberton (12-3)
Nanih Waiya is back to defend its state championship from last season. Lumberton brings the Class 1A Player of the Year in quarterback Robert Henry, who has gained 1,831 yards and scored 29 touchdowns and passed for 10 more. Nanih Waiya will slow Henry down enough to win its secondstraight title.