Veteran sportswriter and high school football expert Robert Wilson is doing the Priority One Bank/Mississippi Scoreboard predictions column each week during the high school football season on teams from Hinds, Madison, and Rankin County. Wilson had an 18-11 record last week (62.1 percent) and has a 99-28 record (77.9 percent) for the season.

       Tri-County Academy (5-0) at Canton Academy (3-2)

       Canton Academy has been in the MAIS Class 3A state championship game for the past two years, winning the state title last season and finishing second to nationally ranked Greenville Christian two years ago.

       Canton Academy had two of the most successful seasons in school history, winning 25 games and losing only four. But two of those were to Tri-County Academy, a MAIS Class 4A school that is only 21 miles west of Canton Academy in Flora. And those losses weren’t close, with Tri-County winning 40-0 two years ago and 48-28 last season.

       Both teams are off to successful starts again this season. Tri-County, which finished 12-2 and lost to Greenville St. Joseph 26-14 in the 4A state title game last season, is off to a 5-0 start. Check out these scores: 47-6, 47-0, 47-0, 40-6 and 55-14.

       Canton Academy is off to a 3-2 start, but both losses were to non-MAIS state champions, four-time defending Georgia Class AAA state champion John Milledge Academy, which has a state record 54 consecutive game winning streak, and MHSAA defending Class 5A state champion Holmes County Central. Canton Academy easily won the three MAIS games, 35-0, 40-6 and 43-25, the last one defending previously undefeated Class 5A Central Hinds Academy and has won 10 straight MAIS games since the Tri-County loss last season.

       Both schools feature some of the best small school talent in Mississippi.

       Tri-County is led on offense by junior quarterback Bryce Warriner, who has completed and senior wide receiver Jacob Clearman. Warriner completed 20 of 33 passes for 309 yards and four touchdowns in last week’s win over Winston. Clearman had 10 catches for 205 yards and two TDs.

       Warriner has completed 78 of 125 passes for 1,129 yards and 11 TDs without an interception this season. Clearman has caught 30 passes for 512 yards and seven TDs and has 11 carries for 93 yards and two TDs. He also starts at safety and has one interception, has averaged 38.7 yards on seven punts and averaged 13.9 yards on eight punt returns.

       Warriner passed school record with 2,262 passing yards and 30 TDs last season. Clearman averaged 20.4 yards per catch and led the team with six interceptions.

       Clearman, junior middle linebacker Rhett Gray, junior outside linebacker Brayden Walsh and senior defensive end Hayden Walker are the top players on defense.

       Canton is led by senior running back Chris Hunter, who was a second-team running back on the PriorityOne Bank/Mississippi Scoreboard Metro Jackson Team last season, one of two MAIS players on the team from a non-MAIS Class 6A team. Junior defensive lineman Reggie Vaughn, who transferred from Madison St. Joseph to Hartfield Academy this season and has several Division I offers, was the other one.

       Hunter – whose has been offered by Northwest Mississippi Community College – had 259 all-purpose yards and four TDs in last week’s win over Central Hinds.

Hunter had 2,263 yards on 134 carries, an amazing average of 16.9 yards per carry, and 34 total TDs last season as a junior.

       Hunter, sophomore wide receivers JD Kelly and junior Sawyer Bates and junior quarterback Madden Gerald, junior middle linebacker Cruz Johnson, senior defensive tackle Jaheim Blackmon, junior outside linebacker William Pace and junior strong safety Ayden Hughes are Canton Academy’s top players.

       Both coaches have won state championships. Tri-County coach Philip Wasson, in his 18th season as a head coach, has won three state titles (two at Washington School and one at Tri-County) and has been in five state championship games. He has a 135-68 overall record, and 47-10 (an 82.5 winning percentage) at Tri-County in his fifth season.

       Posey won his first state title last season and is in his third season as a head coach and fourth as a coach (he was an assistant at Pillow Academy for one season before coming to Canton Academy as head coach). He has a 25-6 career record, an 80.6 winning percentage.

       Canton Academy leads the overall series 16-13.

       Tri-County 35, Canton Academy 14


In other games (winners in bold):


Meridian (1-3) at Callaway (2-2), Thursday, Hughes Field

Amite School Center (0-5) at East Rankin Academy (1-4)

Ben’s Ford, La. (3-2) at Hillcrest Christian School (1-4)

Canton (0-4) at Neshoba Central (0-4)

Evangelical Christian School, Tenn. (2-3) at Jackson Prep (5-0)

Forest Hill (1-3) at Wingfield (1-3), South Jackson Field

Gulfport (2-2) at Brandon (2-2)

Holmes County Central (4-0) at Florence (3-1)

Humphreys Academy (1-4) at Park Place Christian Academy (1-3)

Jim Hill (1-3) at Lanier (1-3), Hughes Field

Lafayette (3-1) at Hartfield Academy (6-0)

Madison St. Joseph (2-2) at Greenville St. Joseph (3-2)  

McLaurin (1-3) at St. Andrew’s (2-2)

 Morton (2-2) at Pelahatchie (0-4)

 Murrah (4-0) at Ridgeland (1-3)      

 Northwest Rankin (3-1) at Brookhaven (2-2)

 Pearl (4-0) at Germantown (2-2)

 Puckett (4-0) at Bogue Chitto (2-2)

 Richland (3-1) at Pisgah (1-3)

 St. Aloysius (0-5) at Central Hinds Academy (3-2)

 Simpson Academy (2-3) at Presbyterian Christian School (2-2)

South Panola (3-1) at Clinton (0-4)

Terry (3-1) at Provine (3-1), Hughes Field

Velma Jackson (3-0) at Leake Central (2-2) 

Warren Central (2-2) at Madison Central (3-1)

Winston Academy (3-2) at Clinton Christian School (3-2)