Recapping Houston’s Battle of the Creek blowout

@brandonspeck

OKOLONA – Houston had scored a total of 26 points in two wins to start the season. It’s defense had allowed only six points, those six to then-No. 1 small school Calhoun City.

In Thursday’s Battle of the Creek, the Hilltoppers doubled it in a 52-6 win over No. 5 Okolona.

“We put it together tonight,” Houston coach William Cook said. “We’ve got to keep building from there.”

Cook can now look ahead to Friday’s matchup with No. 1 East Webster, where Houston has a chance to knock off a third-straight Journal-ranked team. If EW beats Choctaw tonight, both will be 3-0.

“Every game we have is a big game,” Cook said. “Our schedule is stacked until division, the meat of schedule. We look at it is as our pre-division gets us ready for division.”

Here is DE Omario Johnson, as well as Okolona coach Jack Clark.

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Posted in Football

Scores from Thursday, Sept. 3

Softball
Smithville 20-15, McAdams 0-0
Booneville 3, New Site 1
Pine Grove 21, Blue Mountain 0
Ingomar 8, Baldwyn 5
East Union 17, North Pontotoc 4
East Webster 12, Noxapater 2
Amory 5, Hatley 0
Mooreville 14, Saltillo 1
Wheeler 16, Jumpertown 6
Tishomingo County 8, Kossuth 2
South Pontotoc 11, Myrtle 1
West Union 12, Hickory Flat 2

Posted in Sports

Byrd buying into Bearcats stock

@brandonspeck

Baldwyn is 2-0 with wins at Mooreville and Booneville. The Bearcats, No. 3 in the small school rankings, play at Kossuth Friday before finally playing at home against a tough Adamsville, Tenn. team.

Baldwyn then hosts Saltillo and No. 5 Okolona.

Saltillo coach Pat Byrd is buying the Bearcats’ hype.

“Baldwyn is as good as they’ve been, in shoot, 20 years,” Byrd said. “Yeah, I’m buying them. They’re good up front. They’re good on defense, got a big back, they’ve always had speed guys off the edge.”

That big back is 210-pound Marquavious Patterson who brings a down-hill game to Baldwyn. He has rushed for 213 yards and five TDs, 12.5 yards per carry.

Posted in Football

Scores from Tuesday, Sept. 1

Softball
Booneville 9, Tupelo 7
Smithville 10, Vardaman 0
Saltillo 6, Itawamba AHS 1
East Union 13, Ingomar 3
East Webster 6, South Pontotoc 2
Mooreville 8, Houston 7
New Site 1, Wheeler 0
Eupora 11, Hatley 8
Amory 6, Nettleton 4

Posted in Sports

A realistic step-back look at the AP Prep Poll

Top 10

1. South Panola (2-0) 119

2. Noxubee County (2-0) 83

(tie) Starkville (1-1) 83

4. Madison Central (2-0) 66

5. Oxford (1-1) 52

6. Oak Grove (1-0) 47

7. Clinton (1-1) 45

(tie) Hattiesburg (2-0) 45

9. Laurel (2-0) 42

10. Wayne County (1-1) 25

Others receiving votes: Grenada 21, St. Martin 15, Hernando (1) 10, Lafayette 9, Jackson Prep 9, Bassfield 7, Philadelphia 7, Leake Central 6, Indianola Aca. 5, Hazlehurst 4, Clarksdale Lee Aca. 4, Thrasher 3, Pillow Aca. 2, Resurrection Catholic 2, West Point 1, Collins 1, Jackson Aca. 1, Baldwyn 1.


That Thrasher, Resurrection Catholic and Baldwyn are receiving votes and Corinth, Itawamab AHS and Tupelo aren’t, there are no emojis to express the lunacy. And I’ll spoil it, Oxford is going to beat MC Friday.

Class 6A

1. South Panola (2-0) 127

2. Starkville (2-0) 101

3. Madison Central (2-0) 85

4. Oak Grove (1-0) 79

5. Clinton (1-1) 67

Others receiving votes: St. Martin 24, Hernando (1) 10, George County 8, Meridian 7, Brandon 6, Hancock 6

I have zero problems with 6A. South Panola is still the class and after seeing Starkville Friday, the Jackets def deserve at least second for now.

Class 5A

1. Oxford (1-1) 97

2. Hattiesburg (2-0) 94

3. Laurel (2-0) 91

4. Wayne County (1-1) 65

5. Grenada (2-0) 60

Others receiving votes: West Point 50, Clarksdale 23, Vicksburg 14, South Jones 7, Pearl River Central 7, Holmes County Central 6, Pascagoula 6.

I have zero problems with 5A. Two in a row, call the doc.

Class 4A

1. Lafayette (2-0) 113

2. Noxubee County (2-0) 110

3. Itawamba AHS (2-0) 42

4. Tishomingo County (2-0) 37

5. McComb (2-0) 34

Others receiving votes: Leake Central 28, Houston 27, Kosciusko 26, Louisville 21, Greenwood (1) 19, Rosa Fort 19, Mendenhall 16, Vancleave 8, Lawrence County 7, Senatobia 7, Corinth 6.

Now I love you, Tishomingo, but I’m also a realist. So save your emails. Tish County beats Belmont Friday and the Braves will have matched their highest win total in seven years. But a poll can’t be voted on based on a record (apparently it can). Tish is much, much improved this season and from the coaches I’ve talked with, on the right track.

But let’s not get carried away. The Braves have beaten Mantachie and Alcorn Central, a 2A and 3A which combined for five wins last season. To have Tish ranked in the same five as Noxubee County is insanity. To have Corinth the 10th team receiving votes is insanitier. The two play on Oct. 9.

I am nowhere near trying to take a shot at anyone, but for the sake of not giving everyone a participation trophy, Corinth is four touchdowns better, minimum. What if you saw the college AP Poll and it had Bethune Cookman above Ohio State? Come on, voters. Do some research outside of a record. Laziness.

Caveat because I know humanity’s lack of sense of humor. I’m not taking a shot at you, Tish. I hope you win 16 games and I get to do 16 stories on you. I am taking a shot at lazy Mississippi media who guess at a poll that could be a good thing if any research actually went into it. Whichever of you didn’t vote for Noxubee at all, Jeffery Simmons should sack some sense into that head.

Class 3A

1. Philadelphia (2-0) 88

2. Collins (2-0) 79

3. Hazlehurst (3-0)
4. Tylertown (2-0) 64

5. Charleston (1-1) 45

Others receiving votes: West Marion (2) 34, East Side 30, Aberdeen 28, Franklin Co. 25, Kemper County 22, St. Andrew’s 14, Ruleville (1) 10, North Pontotoc 6, Raleigh 6.


I’m fine with it. I do think Aberdeen is better than the receiving votes category.

Class 2A

1. Bassfield (2-0) 124

2. East Webster (2-0) 81

3. Eupora (2-0) 51

4. Baldwyn (2-0) 50

5. Lake (2-0) 48

Others receiving votes: Scott Central 39, Bay Springs 36, Calhoun City 21, Taylorsville 18, Leflore County (1) 10, Strayhorn 9, East Marion 8, Pisgah 7, West Bolivar 6, Mize 6, Winona 6.

East Webster, Eupora and Baldwyn are going to have to prove they can beat Calhoun City. That trio is 1-10 in the last 11 against the Wildcats. And Baldwyn looks here to stay. If the Bearcats beat Kossuth and Adamsville (Tenn). in the next two weeks, it’s undefeated city come November. That schedule as Kevin McAllister would say, “Woof.”

Class 1A

1. Resurrection Catholic (2-0) 90

2. Smithville (2-0) 90

3. Simmons (1-0) 86

4. Thrasher (2-0) 66

5. Falkner (2-0) 61

Others receiving votes: Shaw 35, Lumberton 21, Noxapater 12, St. Aloysius (1) 10, Durant 9, Nanih Waiya 8, West Lowndes 7, West Oktibbeha 6, Coffeeville 6.


1A isn’t thrilling the pants off of me, but I am curious to see if Thrasher is the real deal and how Falkner pans out. I like Smithville at two. It plays Falkner and Thrasher. A lot TBD here.

Posted in Football

Joiner, Brim elevating their games

@brandonspeck

Oxford 2017 guard Jarkell Joiner and Shannon 2017 guard CJ Brim are elevating their games. Here are links to two stories I did when I caught up to them.

On CJ Brim

On Jarkell Joiner

and some video

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Posted in Basketball, Recruiting

A.J. Brown: ‘I can take any corner in the nation 1-on-1’

@brandonspeck

STARKVILLE – ESPN’s 300 has Starkville WR A.J. Brown as the No. 3 player in Mississippi. The four-letter may change its mind about the four-star after Friday night.

Brown, whose offer sheet reads like a list of College GameDay options, caught a career-high 16 passes for 176 yards in a 20-7 win in The Little Egg Bowl against Oxford on ESPNU.

He also played some safety, which he said he practiced all week, and made a tackle at the 1-yard line.

After the game, he said he believes he can take any corner in the nation one-on-one. The bruiser is 6-foot-2, 218 pounds of strength and determination.

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Posted in Football, Recruiting

Corinth continuing tear, Aberdeen looks to rebound

@brandonspeck

Last week’s Corinth-Aberdeen season-opener was a classic, Corinth winning 21-20 after Javen Morrison knocked away Aberdeen’s two-point pass to win it in the final seconds.

The No. 2 large school Warriors continue a schedule tear tonight hosting No. 5 Tupelo. Here is QB Antares Gwyn on the preparation his team has put in to face a tough schedule, as well as on a tough TD catch Morrison made at Aberdeen and how important RB Jalen Cobbs is.

Also hear from Corinth coach Doug Jones and No. 3 Aberdeen coach Eric Spann and RB Donte Carter, who says his team has to pick up the pieces this week at New Hope.

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Posted in Football

Scores from Thursday, Aug. 27

Softball
Booneville 8, Baldwyn 7
Smithville 4, Caledonia 0
Amory 12, Hatley 2
West Union 15, Ingomar 5
Vardaman 7, Calhoun City 1
Pine Grove 11, Jumpertown 0
South Pontotoc 9, Tupelo 8
Mantachie 9, Itawamba AHS 3

Posted in Sports

Moreland anxious to get back in the AL postseason

@brandonspeck

If the Major League Baseball season ended Thursday night, the Texas Rangers would have had a wildcard spot.

Mitch Moreland wouldn’t take it for granted.

The former Amory and Mississippi State star made his MLB debut on July 29, 2010. He singled in his first at-bat. Three months later, he found himself in the World Series with the Rangers, who lost in five games to San Francisco.

“It happened so quick for me in back-to-back years,” Moreland said before an Aug. 11 game at the Twins. “You’re almost like, ‘Man, I thought this was going to be a little bit tougher.’”

It has been tougher. Here is the rest of my story in today’s Daily Journal and some video with Moreland from our chat in Minneapolis.

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Posted in Baseball

Scores from Tuesday, Aug. 25

Softball
East Union 21, Myrtle 8
Hamilton 13, Hatley 3
Tishomingo Co. 26, Tupelo 20

Posted in Sports

MaxPreps Plays of the Week

MaxPreps is doing a coll weekly video comp of the week’s top plays. This week’s includes Brandon’s Johnny Willis with a 100-plus yard pick-6.

Click here for the plays.

If you have one you want to submit, hastag it #MPTopPlay on your social media outlet of choice.

Posted in Football


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