Week nine of high school football season is here. Here are Zac Chamblee’s predictions for six of the biggest games in the Hattiesburg area and Covington County this week.
Oak Grove (6-1) at Terry (5-3)
Oak Grove’s Revenge Tour continues this week. Remember, Terry made the trip to Hattiesburg nearly a year ago to the day and handed the Warriors a shocking, 28-27 home loss. Had Oak Grove won that game, the Warriors would have squeaked into the playoffs as the No. 4 seed in Region 3-6A. Instead, the team went on to miss the postseason for a second straight year. A win here would go a long way to help ensure the Warriors make it back. With that and revenge in mind, Oak Grove should take care of business.
Oak Grove 38, Terry 21
Jim Hill (1-7) at Petal (1-6)
This hasn’t exactly been a year to remember for Petal. It’s one thing to point at the Panthers’ shortcomings on offense, but you also have to look at their schedule. The teams they’ve lost to are a combined 38-7 this year. It’s been a frustrating last few weeks, but Petal should take out some of that frustration this week against a Jim Hill team that’s been shut out three times and lost four games in a row.
Petal 41, Jim Hill 10
Wayne County (5-2) at Hattiesburg (7-0)
Aside from maybe Picayune, this will be Hattiesburg’s toughest test the rest of the regular season. Still, I’d say the Tigers are head and shoulders the better team here. Keep in mind, the War Eagles beat Pearl River Central in a shootout, 53-41, just two weeks ago. That’s the same Blue Devil team the Tigers destroyed, 60-7, last Friday night. I don’t expect this matchup to get that ugly, but Hattiesburg should win comfortably.
Hattiesburg 45, Wayne County 17
Sumrall (7-1) at Poplarville (6-1)
Sumrall will have to put their first loss behind them quickly if they hope to knock off Poplarville. The Hornets have ruled Region 7-4A for several years now and are well-equipped to keep that streak going in 2018, so the Bobcats will have their hands full. Do I think Sumrall can win this game? Yes. Do I think they will? Right now I’m going back and forth with that question. That loss to Lawrence County last week is definitely concerning, especially considering that was Sumrall’s toughest test to this point. It doesn’t get any easier at Poplarville, so I’ll roll with the Hornets here.
Poplarville 31, Sumrall 20
Richton (6-2) at Collins (6-1)
This is a big one in Region 8-2A, because whoever comes out on top here has the inside track to capturing the region title. Safe to say Richton has the most to prove going forward. Right now, the Rebels have only faced two teams with winning records (Columbia and Sumrall), and they’re 0-2 in those games. Number three comes this week in the form of the Collins Tigers, who have remained steady against all competition. That should continue this week.
Collins 37, Richton 19
Tylertown (3-5) at Seminary (5-3)
Seminary has quietly put together an impressive winning streak the last few weeks. The Bulldogs have rode their Wing-T offense to four wins in a row, and they’re hoping to make it five against Tylertown. The Chiefs’ offensive woes have been exposed a little bit in recent games and especially against top-notch defenses. I’m thinking that’s music to the Bulldogs’ ears.
Seminary 31, Tylertown 17