Each week, SBLive’s Tyler Cleveland ranks the top 10 teams in Mississippi high school football, regardless of classification.
Here’s a look at the Mississippi Power 10 Rankings for the week of Monday, Sept. 13.
SBLIVE MISSISSIPPI POWER 10
1. Oak Grove (2-0)
Last week: No. 1
Friday night: beat Hattiesburg 27-0
This week: hosts Greenville Christian
It wasn’t pretty, but the Warriors got a stellar performance out of tailback J.Q. Gray, who went for 230 yards and two scores in the shutout win in the Hub City Classic. The defending 6A champs have taken care of business in these first two tests, but coach Drew Causey will be the first to tell you his team has yet to play up to its potential. This weekend would be a good time to do it, with MAIS heavyweight Greenville Christian coming to town.
2. Madison Central (3-0)
Last week: No. 3
Friday night: beat Northwest Rankin 38-7
This week: off
Toby Collums didn’t take it easy on his former team, but that final score could have been a lot worse. The Jags got an interception from B.J. Washington on the Cougars’ first drive, jumped ahead 14-0 in the first quarter and never looked back. There’s a lot to like here: the Jags have passed every test so far, there’s still a lot of room for growth and they’ve got a bye week to prepare for a Sept. 24 trip to Starkville for the Region-2 opener against the No. 7 Yellow Jackets.
2. Oxford (2-1)
Last week: No. 2
Saturday night: lost to Ruston (La.) 28-14
This week: at Lafayette County
Oxford played hard and kept it close for most of the game, but the Chargers ran out of juice in the fourth quarter against a bigger, more physical Ruston team Saturday in Shreveport. For the first time in a while, they couldn’t establish the run, and that showed up on the scoreboard. The 14 points was the lowest output for an Oxford team in two calendar years. The good news is that Saturday’s game was just a one-off against a very good team, the bad news is it won’t be the last game they play against a big, physical opponent.
4. Ocean Springs (3-0)
Last week: No. 4
Friday night: beat George County 51-28
This week: off
Ocean Springs fell behind 14-0 early and still rolled to a 23-point win in Lucedale. Bray Hubbard and that Greyhound offense are putting up some incredible numbers early in the season, and against some pretty good opponents. They’ll take a week off before returning to action against Hancock on Sept. 24. The tempo picks up from there with three huge games against D’Iberville, Biloxi and Pascagoula the first three weeks in October.
5. West Point (1-1)
Last week: No. 5
Friday night: beat Noxubee County 38-19
This week: off
The Green Wave got two touchdowns from Keyshawn Henley, and Cameron Young and Jaquantis Harris both chipped in scores to help West Point roll over a team with a pretty good defensive tradition. Sounds like a familiar story, eh? The Green Wave didn’t seem to miss a beat despite missing the first two weeks of the season due to COVID-19 protocols. They aren’t scheduled to play again until Sept. 24, when they host Lafayette County in the Region 1-5A opener for both teams.
6. South Panola (1-0)
Last week: No. 6
Friday night: beat Cordova (Tenn.) 42-6
This week: hosts Clarksdale
South Panola scored on its opening possession and never looked back in a win over hapless Cordova (0-4). Everyone has looked good against the Wolves, who have now been out-scored 204-19 in four games. The Tigers will be heavy favorites next week at home against Clarksdale, but we’ll learn a lot more about them on Sept. 24 when they take the bus up to Hernando for that Region 1-6A opener.
7. Starkville (3-0)
Last week: No. 7
Friday night: beat Olive Branch 38-7
This week: hosts Louisville
They were tied 7-7 at the end of the first quarter, but Starkville put together a solid effort over the final three quarters and pulled away by midway through the third quarter. A lot of folks had written off this Starkville team as being in a rebuilding year, but it’s starting to look like they simply reloaded. The next two weeks are rough: the Yellow Jackets host Louisville (3-0) for Friday night’s homecoming in what will likely be the game of the week, then they get No. 2 Madison Central the following week.
8. Harrison Central (2-0)
Last week: No. 9
Friday night: beat East Marion 35-0
This week: off
The Red Rebels walked over 2A East Marion in a matchup scheduled late in the week. We didn’t learn much about Harrison Central, but the Red Rebels weren’t scheduled to play again until Sept. 24 in the Region 4-6A opener against Pascagoula, so it was important to play a game. They’ll enjoy an off week this Friday night before returning to action on Sept. 24 against Pascagoula in the Region 4-6A opener for both teams.
9. Picayune (3-0)
Last week: No. 10
Friday night: beat Gulfport 35-21
This week: at D’Iberville
The Maroon Tide took a 28-7 lead into the fourth quarter, but had to convert a fourth down deep in its own territory, then get a pick-six to put the Admirals away in a wild one in Gulfport. Picayune is another team that has passed every test. The Maroon Tide will raise the bar a little higher this week with a trip to D’Iberville (3-0).
10. Louisville (3-0)
Last week: NR
Friday night: beat Columbus 29-7
This week: at No. 7 Starkville
What else can you say about this Louisville defense? The Wildcats have won 14 games in a row and have only given up 16 touchdowns in that span. After beating up on Columbus, they get a huge step up in competition this week with a trip to Starkville, looking to avenge last year’s 24-14 loss to the Yellow Jackets.
Dropped out: Clinton (1-2)
(Feature photo by Tyler Cleveland)