The time has finally arrived. We've moved on from summer practices and writing season previews to now dissecting Week 1 high school football matchups.
Each week throughout the season, I'll be posting my own predictions for what I believe will be the outcomes of our local games. The first week is always the most difficult to do so, with little to no real ideas of what each team has in store for the year. Nevertheless, I'll certainly try my best.
The matchup that most intrigues me this week is Laurel at Poplarville. Based on last year's results and returning talent, the Hornets have a great shot at winning their home-opener. Based on the eye test, however, the Tornadoes look more than talented enough to spoil the party and upset the reigning 4A South champs on their own turf.
The Hornets run a Wing T offense, something that isn't seen often these days and is pretty tricky to shut down for those who aren't familiar with it. If the Tornadoes are unable to contain the rushing attack, the Hornets could dominate time of possession and ultimately win a rather low-scoring ballgame.
However, if the Tornadoes' offense can jump ahead early and force Poplarville to play from behind, eventually they might be forced to abandon the running game in an effort to score points quickly.
Though both options are highly possible, the latter is what I predict will take place on Friday night. All games kick off at 7 p.m. and readers can follow the action on the Leader-Call's Facebook page.
Brad’s pick: Laurel
In other Week 1 games (winners are in bold):
George Co. at West Jones
NE Jones at Franklin Co.
South Jones at Sumrall
Taylorsville at Scott Central
Stringer at Bay Springs
Quitman at Wayne Co.
Heidelberg at SE Lauderdale
Hattiesburg at Petal
Sylva Bay at Brookhaven Acad.