It’s playoff time and for four coverage area teams, Friday starts the journey toward a possible state championship.
Games scheduled for Friday night have Horn Lake hosting Warren Central in MHSAA 6A, Neshoba Central at Olive Branch and Lake Cormorant traveling to Holmes County Central in MHSAA 5A, and Magnolia Heights welcoming Simpson County Academy in MAIS AAAA-2.
Here’s a playoff version of Friday’s Five Football Things to Remember.
1. EAGLES FLIGHT: The 11-0 Eagles bring the highest-scoring offense and the stingiest-scoring defense among 6A schools to the playoffs. Horn Lake averages 43 points scored per game and allowed on average 10.91 points per contest.
2. VIKINGS VOYAGE: The 5-5 Vikings average 27.8 points scored per game and allowed an average of 22.7 points an outing. Warren Central enters the playoff game having won three of its last four contests. They were fourth in Region 2-6A with a 4-3 division record.
3. QUISTORS CONQUEST: The 10-1 Conquistadors have won three straight after its only loss of the regular season, a last-minute 34-33 decision to defending 5A state champion West Point on Oct. 12. Olive Branch scores an average of 28.8 points a game and allows an average of 12.64 points each game.
4. ROCKETS BLAST OFF: Neshoba Central is on a three-game winning streak and the 10-2 Rockets have won five of its last six appearances. Neshoba Central has scored on average 33.08 points per game and allowed 20.25 points an outing. The Rockets finished third in Region 2-5A behind champion Holmes County Central and runner-up Germantown (Madison).
5. GATORS VS. JAGUARS, CHIEFS VS. COUGARS, OH MY! In another 5A clash, Lake Cormorant travels to Holmes County Central to play a team that hasn't been beaten in Mississippi this fall. The Jaguars only lost came in mid-September at Niceville, Fla. 35-7. Holmes County Central (10-1) scores on average 39.82 points per game and allows an average of 20.09 points a contest. The Gators (6-5) lost a chance for a number-seed with their regular season-ending defeat at Lafayette last week by a score of 42-13. Lake Cormorant has allowed more points than it scores: 18.45 points-per-game on offense and 22.27 points allowed per game on defense.
Meanwhile, Magnolia Heights hosts Simpson County Academy in the semifinals of the MAIS AAAA-2 playoffs in Senatobia. The Chiefs are the number-two seed and received a first-round bye last week. The visiting Cougars are the number-three seed and last week started down the postseason road with a 35-13 win against Copiah Academy. The winner meets either Lamar or Pillow Academy on Thursday, Nov. 15 in the championship game at Jackson Academy, starting at 2:30 p.m.
6. EXTRA, EXTRA: The Mississippi High School Activities Association Wednesday announced the Mr. Football awards for this season and Horn Lake’s Nakobe Dean was named the 6A selection. Dean, a 6-1, 220-pound senior linebacker, has 134 tackles, 22 tackles for loss, six quarterback sacks and three interceptions for the 11-0 Eagles.
Bob Bakken is Sports Editor for the DeSoto Times-Tribune.