Prep playoffs set
By By Marty Stamper/The Meridian Star
Nov. 6, 2001
For the MHSAA Class 2A, 3A, and 4A schools and the MPSA Class A members, do-or-die time is now.
Fourteen area teams will begin state football playoffs Friday night. MHSAA Class 1A and 5A members, along with the larger schools in the MPSA, open their playoffs next week.
In Class 4A, the Quitman Panthers, 8-2, make their first-ever venture into the playoffs Friday night when they host defending Class 4A state champion McComb, 7-3.
Quitman, the No. 2 team in Region 5-4A behind Northeast Jones, ripped Northeast Lauderdale 35-8 last week, while the Tigers of McComb slipped past South Pike 7-6 to finish third in Region 6-4A.
Region 2-4A champion Noxubee County, 9-1, hosts Lafayette County, 4-6. The Tigers of Noxubee blanked West Point 12-0 last week, while the Commodores of Lafayette were 27-13 losers to arch-rival Oxford.
Oxford, 5-5, travels to Region 2-4A runner-up Louisville, 6-4. The Wildcats defeated Kosciusko 19-7 last week.
In Class 3A, Region 5-3A champion Newton County puts its perfect 10-0 record on the line against Morton, 5-5, in a rematch of a Sept. 14 game which the Cougars won 31-14. Morton defeated Forest 17-14 last week.
Also in 3A, West Lauderdale, 6-4, makes its first playoff appearance since 1984 when the Region 5-3A third-place Knights travel to Forest, 3-7. Forest, Velma Jackson, and Morton all had 3-2 region records with Forest taking the No. 2 spot on the tie-breaker.
The two last met in 1998 with Forest taking a 38-7 win.
In another 3A contest, Philadelphia, 6-4, hosts a rugged Velma Jackson team that upped its record to 8-2 with a 62-20 rout of winless Raleigh last week. The Tornadoes lost 51-20 at Florence last week to enter the playoffs on a two-game skid.
In Class 2A, five area teams are beginning what they hope will be the road to Jackson in early December.
Division 5-2A champion Newton, 8-2, hosts McLaurin, 5-5. Newton cruised past Scott Central 42-22 last week, while McLaurin was a 42-14 loser to Loyd Star.
Scott Central, the 5-2A runner-up, hosts St. Andrew's. The Rebels are 5-5, while the Saints improved to 3-7 with last week's 35-7 win over Madison St. Joseph.
Kemper County, the No. 4 team in Region 5-2A, takes a 2-8 record into its contest at Wesson. The Cobras upped their record to 9-1 with Friday's 42-0 pasting of Hinds AHS.
Enterprise, the No. 4 team in Region 7-2A, takes a 6-4 record into its playoff game at Gulfport with St. John. The Eagles improved to 9-1 by blasting Mercy Cross 41-0 last Thursday.
Bay Springs, the No. 3 team in 7-2A behind Taylorsville and Bassfield, travels to East Marion, 5-5. The Bulldogs fell to 7-3 with Friday's 18-16 loss to Bassfield. East Marion defeated North Forrest 36-0 last week.
In MPSA action, Heidelberg Academy carries a 9-1 mark into its home game with Mississippi County, Ark. The Rebels hammered Wayne Academy 35-0 in their regular-season finale. The Golden Eagles from Dell, Ark., were 35-18 losers to West Memphis, Ark., last week.
Wayne Academy's 9-1 Jaguars travel to Arcola to take on Deer Creek's Warriors. Deer Creek took a 50-28 beating from Central Holmes to close out the regular season.
Marty Stamper is a sports writer for the Meridian Star. E-mail him at email@example.com or phone him at 693-1551, ext. 3235.
This week's playoff games
McComb (7-3) at Quitman (8-2)
Oxford (5-5) at Louisville (6-4)
Lafayette County (4-6) at Noxubee County (9-1)
Morton (5-5) at Newton County (10-0)
Velma Jackson (8-2) at Philadelphia (6-4)
West Lauderdale (6-4) at Forest (3-7)
McLaurin (5-5) at Newton (8-2)
St. Andrew's (3-7) at Scott Central (5-5)
Enterprise (6-4) at St. John (9-1)
Kemper County (2-8) at Wesson (9-1)
Bay Springs (7-3) at East Marion (5-5)
Mississippi County, Ark. (7-2) at Heidelberg Academy (9-1)
Wayne Academy (9-1) at Deer Creek (8-2)