Sometimes a journalist simply has to say what’s on their mind, even if it concerns something about their personal lives.
And for me, that time is now.
I have been battling bronchitis and pneumonia since last weekend. Actually, it began with small symptoms as these things many times do. But after traveling to Thrasher last Friday for the Daily Corinthian Game of the Week, I knew right away by halftime of the Golden Bears win, that I never should have chanced getting out in the night air, around other people, just to cover a game.
I discovered – the hard way – that we should listen to that small still voice inside our head when it says, “You better stay in.”
Still battling the effects of being sick all week, along with a change in antibiotics on Wednesday, I will be working Friday during ‘Friday Night Lights’ … but only in the office from the confines of my office cubicle.
I have to get better and that’s not gonna happen if I keep rushing back out to cover games before I’m ready.
With that being said, I will not be able to cover a ‘Game of the Week’ Friday night for the first time in recent memory. It’ll be different for me, that’s for sure and certain. I will miss being at the stadium and around the fans and players. But for this week, at least, I’ll steer to the side of safety.
By the way, the DC Game of the Week was to have been No. 3 (1A) Biggersville hosting Eupora at the Lions Den. I will still watch it on ‘Biggersville Live’ on Facebook. I will also depend on the steady and dependable partnership of Lions stats keeper (and former Daily Corinthian sports writer) Jeff Allen.
I hope Jeff knows just how important he is to me keeping all our readers informed on Biggersville football. The same goes for all others that fill that role at the remaining DC area schools.
Even though there will be no Game of the Week (that just doesn’t sound right, and probably never will), I will still begin with the contest that would have filled that role.
Readers will also notice that there are twice as many games this week than last week so game reviews will be shorter and straight to the point due to space limitations.
Eupora (2-0) @ Biggersville (1-0)The respect the Lions earned last year by almost winning the Class 1A title has carried over into this season as they are currently ranked 3 in 1A. They were actually in the No. 2 slot before this week’s poll.
Maybe not playing had something to do with that one-spot slide.
The visiting Eagles are coming off a 21-12 home win against French Camp Academy. That followed a 35-0 season-opening win at Noxapater. Biggersville displayed in their season opener, a 21-7 come-from-behind victory at West Lowndes, they are still a team to be taken seriously.
Both squads are based on run-heavy schemes as the Eagles have two talented backs to tote the pigskin. The bell-cow of the backfield so far this fall is sophomore Jay Stephenson, a 6-1, 203-pounder, reportedly in the same mold as former BHS standout Qua Davis. Eupora is averaging 281 yards per game on the ground and are 6-12 through the air for less than 100 yards and a TD.
This just might be the best small-school game in the north half this week.
Kent’s pick: Biggersville.
Corinth (1-1) @ Tupelo (2-0)The old rivalry is back as the Warriors travel 55 miles south to face the Golden Wave in what could be described as a ‘David vs Goliath’ contest.
But I digress.
I don’t consider this to be an un-winnable game for Corinth. However, there are various factors that seem to favor the home team. For instance, Tupelo has surrendered a total of nine points in two games with a defense ranked among the best in Mississippi. That includes 6-6, 285-pound defensive end/offensive lineman Jacarious Clayton, an Ole Miss commit. Corinth is still in the growth process, especially along the offensive line, and wasn’t able to practice for a week until Wednesday (due to COVID quarantine).
Can new head coach Justin Dye and his staff prepare their players to the level they will need to play to win a road game against possibly one of the top defenses in the Magnolia State in just two days?
Kent’s pick: Tupelo.
Alcorn Central (2-0) @ Falkner (0-2)No disrespect to FHS head coach Jeff Anglin because the Eagles are in rebuild mode, but the Golden Bears will win in a similar fashion as they did last week at Thrasher.
Central is a much-improved team that has a new-found passing game to compliment a strong rushing attack. Their average starting field position last week was the Rebels’ 42-yard line. Fact is, that could very well happen again Friday.
Kent’s pick: Alcorn Central
Ripley (2-0) @ Kossuth (1-1)It’s Military Appreciation Night at KHS as the Aggies welcome the Tigers to Larry B. Mitchell Stadium.
Ripley has outscored its opening two opponents 90-6. But those opponents were Byhalia and Holly Springs, not exactly the top of the pecking order in either of their respective divisions.
Kossuth has a last second 12-11 home loss, along with a 2-0 forfeit win against Corinth, on their resume, not exactly the kind of numbers maroon-and-white fans can get too excited about.
A win over a solid 4A club could change all that, though? Will it happen?
Kent’s pick: Ripley
East Union (0-2) @ Booneville (2-0)Listen up Blue Devil-Nation … this is not a typical 0-2 team coming to Tiger Stadium to play your blue-and-clad squad.
Yes, the Urchins have surrendered 41 points to both of their opponents. However, those opposing clubs were highly-ranked teams in 4A New Albany and Heritage Academy.
Booneville should be more concerned with finding their offense again, just like they did in a week one 44-34 victory over Mooreville … not the one that failed to score in a 2-0 win at Baldwyn last Friday.
I’ll say it again, I am a firm believer in the Mike Mattox system and I truly believe he and his staff will have their players ready to bounce back in a big way.
Kent’s pick: Booneville
Baldwyn (1-1) @ Tishomingo Co. (1-1)My pick here depends on which Braves team shows up for the entire game – the one that trailed 29-14 at Belmont last Friday and were embarrassed week one at home by Mantachie, or the one that manhandled the Cardinals and seeming awoke from the dead to win 52-37 over the Cardinals.
Tish County won the second half 38-8 against Belmont.
Braves sophomore quarterback Blake Counce is the reigning DC Player of the Week, but he had a lot of help last week. Will that momentum carry over to this game?
This is the first in a four-game homestand for TC, so they want to start it off on the right foot.
Kent’s pick: Tishomingo County
Myrtle (0-2) @ Thrasher (1-1)The Rebels are in a definitive rebuild season under new head coach Ross Coley and will be fine down the road.
But it’ll take time, so Thrasher fans need to have plenty of patience as their team grows and matures back to what it once was a short time ago when they were fighting for playoff berths.
The Hawks have forfeited their first two games but have outscored the Rebs 109-24 over the past three seasons while qualifying for the playoffs in Region 1-2A the past two seasons after previously playing as an independent.
Kent’s pick: Myrtle
Walnut (1-1) @ Middleton (1-1)This one should be over at halftime.
The Wildcats make the short 20-mile trek up Hwy. 15 to face the Wildcats who make their on-field debut following two forfeits. The first was of their own choosing as they were in quarantine opening week when they were scheduled to face Thrasher. The second came last week when Memphis Westwood forfeited due to being in quarantine.
It really doesn’t matter. The Tigers simply will not be able to run and gun with a re-energized Wildcat team that dismantled Falkner last week.
Kent’s pick: Walnut
Waverly Central (2-0) @ McNairy Central (0-3)The Bobcats are having trouble scoring while the visiting Tigers have scored almost at will in their unblemished start, putting up 93 points in their first two games.
Look for more of the same Friday as McNairy Central continues the rebuilding project in Selmer.
Kent’s pick: Waverly Central