Best bets: Top 5 games to watch this week in Mississippi high school football (Oct. 1)

Each week during the 2021 Mississippi high school football season, SBLive’s Tyler Cleveland picks five games with intriguing matchups or big implications that high school football fans in the Magnolia State should watch.

Here’s a look at the best games from around the state for Friday, Oct. 1.

STATEWIDE FOOTBALL SCHEDULE

TOP 5 GAMES TO WATCH

Ocean Springs (4-0) at D’Iberville (4-0)

It’s a battle of unbeaten teams on the coast, as the fourth-ranked Greyhounds roll into D’Iberville looking to avenge a 27-24 loss to the Warriors in Ocean Springs last year. D’Iberville will have to find another answer on offense, as Justin Walley won’t be around to rush for 249 on 14 carries in this year’s game. But the Warrior defense has looked solid the last three weeks, and appears as ready as it could be to deal with Bray Hubbard and that explosive Greyhound offense.

Tupelo (5-0) at Oxford (3-2)

We’ve had this game circled on the calendar since before the season started, and the stakes have been raised since then. The Golden Wave is 5-0 for the first time since 2017 and can get to 2-0 in Region 2 if it can get past the defending 6A North Champs. The seventh-ranked Chargers eased into region play with a win over Murrah last week, but desperately need to get to 2-0, as the home stretch portion of their schedule is absolutely brutal.

Sumrall (4-0) at Columbia (3-1)

You don’t see many games this early in the season with these kinds of implications, but this is going to be a real treat for football fans in the Pine Belt. Region 7-4A is loaded at the top with Sumrall, Columbia and Poplarville, and whichever team wins Friday night’s game will have a huge leg up on the other two. The Bobcats can sling it, and the Wildcats counter with a defense that has given up just three touchdowns in the past month.

Madison-Ridgeland Academy (4-3) at Jackson Prep (4-2)

There will be some Patriot-on-Patriot crime in Flowood Friday night as the two heavyweights in MAIS 6A battle it out for the top spot in the District. Prep has bounced back from an 0-2 start to win its last four games by a combined score of 163-26. MRA has won it’s last three 111-26, so both teams appear to have righted the ship headed into the biggest game remaining on either schedule.

Meridian (4-1) at Pearl (4-1)

The Pirates are rolling coming off of four straight wins and looking for revenge against an upstart Meridian team that handed them a 53-34 shellacking in Meridian last season. This one has all the makings of a shootout, as Meridian has scored 41 or more points in each of its last four games and Pearl comes into Friday with a three-headed rushing attack featuring Jerry Johnson, Jamari Thompson and Jaquavien Shoto that is averaging more than 200 yards a game.

(Feature photo by Keith Warren)

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