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. Robert picked 21 of 29 games correctly last week, including the biggest game of the week, Madison Central’s 28-14 win over Brandon. Robert picked the score 28-24. Robert is 42-18 overall for the season, a 70.0 winning percentage.
Ridgeland (2-0) at Pearl (2-0)
Coach John Perry has his Pearl Pirates off to a great start this season with victories over long time rivals Clinton and Warren Central, averaging 37 points per game. That’s not good news for Class 5A Ridgeland because the Pirates have always been known for their stingy defense. This Pearl team has the makings of one who could possibly make a deep run in the playoffs and has legit state championship talent like the 16-0 team that won the 6A state crown in 2017. First-year Ridgeland coach David White has done an excellent job turning around the Titan program with two wins to start the season. Pearl is a level above what Ridgeland has been facing.
Canton (2-0) at Germantown (2-0)
Class 4A Canton and Class 6A Germantown have been impressive in two victories each so far this season. Canton surprised Madison County rival Velma Jackson in the season opener and beat Class 6A Terry last week as Tyquan Henderson had 150 receiving yards and two touchdowns. Germantown won its first game as a 6A program with a win at Desoto Central and then Nick Barnes had 120 yards and three touchdowns and Dylan Wasson kicked a 23-yard field goal with 9 seconds to play in a road win over Neshoba Central. Either Canton coach Calvin Bolton or Germantown coach Tim Shramek will be smiling riding a three-game winning streak after this one. Germantown won’t need a last second field goal to beat Canton.
Brandon (1-1) at Clinton (1-1)
Clinton had the biggest upset in the state last week with a surprising 13-7 victory over Olive Branch. Jeremy Mack scored a touchdown and Carson Barefoot kicked two field goals and the Arrow defense allowed only 102 total yards. Brandon doesn’t want to be the victim of another upset and plans on bouncing back from last week’s loss to Madison Central. Watch for Will Rogers and Co. to put up bigger numbers than last week.
Madison Central (2-0) at Northwest Rankin (0-2)
Madison Central senior quarterback and TCU commitment Jimmy “the Jet” Holiday is getting a lot of well-deserved attention with his 297 yards and four touchdowns of total offense in the win over Brandon. But the Jaguar defense has been just as dominating. Madison Central’s D allowed only one score and intercepted Brandon’s talented quarterback Will Rogers twice and limited him to 125 passing yards. Northwest Rankin is off to its first 0-2 start since 2014 when the Cougars finished 5-8. This week won’t be any better. Jaguars will roll in this one.
Madison Central 35-10.
Scott Central (1-1) at Pelahatchie (2-0)
Scott Central probably has had this Friday marked on its calendar since the end of last season when the Rebels hoisted the Class 2A state championship trophy. Pelahatchie handed Scott Central it’s only loss last year, a 21-19 thriller as J.P. Purvis passed for 181 yards and ran for 140 yards and accounted for all three touchdowns. Sophomore Quay Ragsdale is now running the offense for the Chiefs as Purvis is playing for Mississippi State. Ragsdale ran for 173 yards in last week’s 42-7 win over Puckett. Pelahatchie only had four players graduate from last year’s 11-2 team and has visions to going deep in the playoffs. This will be a stiff test, but Pelahatchie will survive.
Jackson Academy (1-1) at MRA (3-0)
MRA has won four of the last five meetings against JA, including a 41-6 victory last year at JA on its way to the MAIS championship game where it lost to Jackson Prep. MRA is rolling again this year, having scored at least 40 or more points in the first half in each of its wins. JA suffered a setback before the season when quarterback Jackson Conn had a season-ending injury. The Raiders bounced back from a season-opening 26-21 loss at Pillow to beat Leake Academy 34-0 last week. This one will be closer than MRA’s first three wins. The Patriots and talented quarterback Phillip Short will pull away in the second half.
Hartfield (2-0) at Park Place (1-1)
It took Hartfield 10 games before the Hawks won their second game last season on the way to a 3-9 record. But wins over St. Aloysius (29-10) and Canton Academy (42-10) has fans at the Lakeland Drive school buzzing with excitement going into this battle between Rankin County private schools. Talented payers like senior wide receiver-defensive back Brandon Burkhaulter, an Ole Miss commitment, are the reason why. Park Place hopes to get back clicking like it did in its 41-17 victory over Central Holmes in the season opener when quarterback Bryson Shupe passed for 200 yards and three scores. Hartfield should match its victory total of last year this Friday night.
Madison St. Joseph (0-2) at Richland (2-0)
First-year coach J.J. Plummer broke a 13-game losing streak in the season opener against St. Andrew’s and dominated New Orleans Home School last week. He goes up against his alma mater this week in an attempt to give Richland its first three-game winning streak since 2014. Meanwhile, former Mississippi State quarterback and second-year St. Joe coach John Bond is anxious to get his Bruins a victory, but this won’t be the week. Plummer keeps the Rangers rolling.
Amite County (0-2) at Raymond (1-1)
Callaway (2-0 at Wingfield (0-2), Thursday, South Jackson Field
Central Hinds (0-2) at St. Aloysius (1-1)
Clinton Christian ((2-0) at Adams County Christian (2-0)
Florence (0-2) at Terry (1-1)
Hillcrest (0-3) at Natchez Cathedral (1-1)
Jackson Prep (1-1) at Oak Forest, La. (1-1)
Lanier (1-1) at Jim Hill (1-1) North Jackson
McLaurin (1-1) at Sebastopol (2-0)
Mendenhall (0-2) at Forest Hill (0-2) South Jackson Field
Natchez (1-1) at Velma Jackson ((0-2)
Pillow (2-0) at Canton Academy (0-2)
Provine (2-0) at Murrah (0-2) Hughes Field
Rebul (0-2) at Tensas, La. (2-0)
St. Andrew’s (1-1) at Pisgah (2-0)
Sylva-Bay (0-2) at Tri-County (1-1)
Winston (0-2) at East Rankin (0-2)