Mendenhall (10-4) @ North Pike (13-1)
South state weekend is here. We hope everyone has a good Thanksgiving and goes to see a football game Friday night, We will be in Summit, MS watching the 4A South State Championship. North Pike and Mendenhall have each won a lot of close games to get this far.
Keys to Victory: For Mendenhall, its defense. The Tigers have won 9 games in a row, since starting 1-4. The leaders of the defense are the linebackers, Joseph Martin, Trae Johnson and Nimrod Draughn. Each has over 100 tackles this season with Martin leading the way with 151. The biggest assignment for these players will be containing North Pike quarterback, Revis Butler. Butler has passed for over 2,200 yards and rushed for over 1,400 yards this season. If Mendenhall can contain Butler, do not be surprised to see the Tigers pull off the upset.
For North Pike, it starts with Butler. Butler needs to have a good game for the Jaguars to win. Mendenhall has a great, always improving defense. Butler will need to make plays with his feet and his arm for his team to be successful. Helping him out on offense will be running back Jalen Adams and wide receiver Tonnie Collins.
Key Match ups: The Match up to watch for in this game is Trae Johnson VS Revis Butler. Butler is a dual threat and will need to be contained for the Tigers to win. Butler is unquestioned leader of the North Pike offense and will need to limit turnovers and penalties in this crucial game. Another thing to watch for is how sophomore quarterback Khaderal Hodge will handle the pressure of such a big game. Hodge has played extremely well, considering he did not start the season as the starting quarterback for Mendenhall.
Prediction: The only common opponent for these two teams is the Laurel Golden Tornadoes. Mendenhall lost to Laurel 27-22 on September 10th while North Pike beat Laurel 38-30 November 12th.
This should be a close game that is decided with good defense and turnovers.
North Pike 21