It is definitely crunch time for the two Alcorn County football teams remaining in the MHSAA playoffs and they know, no doubt about it, that if they lose their seasons are over.

High School basketball is almost in full gear as only two area clubs have yet to play a game. That will all change soon as the 2021-22 prep hoops season begins to unfold.

And, it’s not quite like 2014 for Ole Miss and Mississippi State football, but it’s close. We’ll take a look back at the remarkable weekend the two SEC clubs had while looking ahead to what could lie in store as the 2021 Egg Bowl looms just over a week away.

All that and more in this edition of “What’s Going On Around Here” this Week … and beyond.

Kossuth, Biggersville facing tough opposition FridayThe roles are reversed this week for Kossuth and Biggersville as KHS will be back home while BHS will be on the road.

The Aggies will host Amory in a third round MHSAA playoff game Friday at Larry B Mitchell Stadium while the Lions will travel to Hollandale to face Simmons and their 1A Mr. Football Award winning running back Vontrez Rush.

As it turns out, Biggersville faced the 2020 1A Mr. Football winner Robert Henry.

For Kossuth head coach Brian Kelly and his Region 1-3A champions, the Panthers are not an unfamiliar opponent. They actually faced each other in a scrimmage to begin the present football season which the Aggies won 13-7.

But that was a two-quarter scrimmage, and this is 13 weeks later with both teams owning unbeaten division titles and playing likely their best ball of the season.

Amory has outscored their first two playoff opponents 99-12, including last weeks 45-6 thumping of Independence while Kossuth had a tougher time getting by their second round foe, Yazoo County, on the road last Friday ultimately winning 27-14.

Full game previews for each of these post season contests can be found in Friday’s edition of the DC sports pages.

High School hoops in the spotlight now

Corinth was the last school to play their first game so far in the 2021-22 season, opening with a pair of home defeats at the hands of Saltillo.

The only local teams remaining that have not played a regular season game heading into Tuesday night are the Kossuth Aggies, Biggersville Lions and Booneville Blue Devils.

Girls teams from those schools have participated in a tournament or two, but no regular season action yet. The Blue Devils were scheduled to finally open their season at home Tuesday against Aberdeen. Coach Michael White told the Daily Corinthian that their home game against Itawamba AHS – scheduled for this Friday – have been moved up a night to Thursday at BHS.

Kossuth will open Thursday at Corinth while Biggersville’s first regular season games are set for December 3, at home against Jumpertown. So the Lions will jump into division play right off the bat.

By the way, the Lady Lions will host their annual BIGG Classic this Saturday with eight games on tap, beginning with Booneville vs McEvans at 10 a.m. and wrapping with Belmont vs Noxubee County at 8:30 p.m.

The full schedule of games, match-ups and times for the BIGG Classic can be found in the local schedule.

Before I conclude this section, the first regular season games between Corinth and Alcorn Central were played Tuesday. The top area teams, based on who has played so far, are the Tishomingo County Lady Braves and the Booneville Blue Devils, even though they haven’t played yet. I make that estimation based on various reports concerning the BHS boys squad. Even Coach Michael Smith says this may be his best boys team since the state championship squads of the early 2010’s. However, Biggersville will be loaded again, Corinth won Region 1-4A last year and should be a player again when the post season rolls around. It’s impossible to judge the Warriors simply on their one game so far, a 47-37 loss to Saltillo. I don’t put much stock in a teams first few games because most coaches are still working on a solid starting rotation until they are a few weeks into the season.

Rebels, Bulldogs frying up successful seasons

Mississippi State and Ole Miss fans will remember the 2014 season very well. It was the fall their respective teams were both ranked inside the nations top-4 about halfway into the schedule.

The ‘Dogs even reached the top of the mountain, being ranked No. 1 after they beat then-No. 2 Auburn 38-23 at Davis-Wade Stadium on Oct. 11. Former MSU coach Dan Mullen’s squad went on to start 10-0 before falling 25-20 at Alabama on Nov. 15. Their regular season ended with a 31-17 loss to the Rebels in the Egg Bowl in Oxford

Mississippi State went on to finish 10-3 with a 49-34 loss to Georgia Tech in the Orange Bowl.

As for former coach Hugh Freeze’s Rebels, they peaked at No. 4, reaching 7-0 before consecutive losses to LSU and Auburn. The Rebels also lost their bowl game, dropping a 42-3 decision to TCU in the Chick-Fi-La Peach Bowl.

College Game Day was in both Oxford and Starkville that season. The nationally-renowned show returned to the Grove Saturday ahead of Ole Miss’ 29-19 win over then No. 11 Texas A&M inside Vaught-Hemingway Stadium.

The Rebels moved into the nations top-10 this week at No. 10 in both the AP and Coaches polls. They will host Vanderbilt Saturday evening. The Bulldogs assembled the largest comeback in school history Saturday at Auburn, turning a 25-point deficit (28-3) into a 43-34 win on the Plains, knocking the Tigers out of the top-25 polls this week. I’m a firm believer that coach Mike Leach’s team should be in the top-25 but there they are, sitting just outside the polls b a few votes. They host coach Eddie George and Tennessee State Saturday before what should be the most anticipated and hyped Egg Bowl since that infamous 2014 season.

Staff Writer

Jebb Johnston is a 1991 Alcorn Central High School graduate and a 1995 Ole Miss journalism graduate. His primary beats are city and county government.

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