A home playoff game to open the Class 2A playoffs will be on the line this week when Union travels to Philadelphia to take on the Tornadoes.
After a slow start, the Tornadoes have righted the ship with division wins over Lake and Newton. Both teams have lost to Scott Central and the winner will be the No. 2 seed in Division 6-2A and host a first-round playoff game.
But first-year coach Jordan Wren knows his team is in for a challenge, especially when it comes to stopping Kadarius Calloway, who is committed to play at Alabama.
“I think they are fast and athletic and hard to block and tackle,” Wren said. “I think we match up with them fine. We have our base plan going into it and hope to have a strong run game and hope that opens up the passing game. On defense, we have been able to set the edges and make tackles on defense. Of course, they probably have one of the best players in the state if not the Southeast. He’s committed to Alabama and they generally don’t recruit guys who can’t play.”
Union is coming off an off week after Lake was forced to forfeit because of COVID exposure.
Northeast Jones at Newton County
The Cougars will try to wrap up a perfect regular season as they host Northeast Jones on Friday night.
The Tigers are 1-5 on the season with their lone win coming over Florence (8-5). They have losses to Purvis (20-0), Forrest County AHS (31-8), Richland (14-6), Quitman (6-4) and Mendenhall (25-8).
“They play hard,” County coach Bobby Bass said. “They play hard on defense and haven’t given up a lot of points. They run the wing-T on offense and try to grind you down on defense. If they beat us, they are in the playoffs so they have a lot to playoffs. We will have to play a lot harder than we have been playing.”
Scott Central at Lake
The Hornets have been on a two-week quarantine with the majority of their football team but will be coming off of that on Wednesday.
Their welcome back gift will be a home contest with Scott Central, who is 7-1 on the season with their only loss coming to Neshoba Central (27-16). The Rebels have wins over Pelahatchie (35-0), Florence (52-21), Raleigh (26-20), Philadelphia (41-18), Newton (46-16) and Union (38-33).
Lake had to forfeit its last two games because of COVID exposure, which will leave the Hornets out of the playoffs.
“We moved the game to Friday and will play them here,” Lake coach Tate Hanna said. “We are supposed to get the kid back on Wednesday and will have two days to prepare for them. We did the same thing with Bogue Chitto so we have done it before. We aren’t the only team that has had to play on a short week. Scott Central is good and we will have to be prepared. I hope we can go out there and finish strong for these seniors.”
East Marion at Newton
The Tigers will close out the regular season as they host East Marion in a non-district contest.
The two teams agreed to play earlier in the season and after securing a playoff spot, the Tigers could see them again the next week. East Marion is 3-7 but two of those wins are forfeit wins with their only on-the-field win coming over St. Patrick. They have losses to West Marion (40-6), Morton (25-0), Jefferson County (50-22), Columbia (38-0), Copiah Academy (37-8), Collins (18-6) and Franklin County (26-8).
Sebastopol at Leake County
The Bobcats will be on the road this week but will only have to make the short trip to Walnut Grove to take on Leake County.
The Gators are 2-6 on the season with their only wins being a 20-12 win over Sacred Heart and a 16-8 victory over Richton last week. . They have losses to Puckett (26-0), Resurrection (34-0), Lumberton (52-8), J.Z. George (33-8), Mount Olive (36-6), and Stringer (47-30).
“This is somewhat of a rivalry game for us,” Sebastopol coach Nicky Mooney said. “Our kids know a lot of their kids. If we play football, we will be fine. They are really, really young. He has eight eighth graders and a seventh grader on the roster and several of them get to play. We just have to take care of business and stay healthy.”