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[Rock’s Locks] Wrapping up another year of prep pigskin picks

October 7, 2022: Picayune head coach Cody Stogner looks on from the sideline during the East Central versus Picayune game at Picayune, Mississippi. Photo: Bobby McDuffie/228 Sports

This is it.

The final edition this season of Rock’s Locks is upon us. We started these shenanigans 15 weeks ago, and we put a wrap on it with six state champions set to be crowned over the next couple of days in Hattiesburg.

The ole prep pigskin prognosticator has had a pretty successful season. Rock’s Locks went 4-2 over Thanksgiving last week, and now stands 132-36 overall this year for a winning percentage of  79 percent on the season…

In the words of the great Jerry Jeff Walker…”We wish you peace, love, and luck…’til we knock at your door again…”

  1. Picayune vs. West Point (Class 5A state championship) — On Dec. 1st, 2019, Picayune and West Point had never met on the football field. Now, just three years and a day later, this will mark the third meeting in four seasons between the two perennial state powers on the gridiron with the Class 5A state championship trophy at stake each time. The teams split the past two meetings, with the Green Wave winning 38-26 in 2019 and the Maroon Tide taking a 40-21 decision last year. All three meetings have taken place at M.M. Roberts Stadium on the campus of the University of Southern Mississippi. Picayune has won a school-record 25 straight games. Picayune, which stands 14-0, has never finished a season 15-0. The Maroon Tide has also never won back-to-back state titles. West Point can take over the state title lead with 12 state titles. The Green Wave are playing in their seventh consecutive Class 5A championship game, which is the second-longest streak in the MHSAA’s playoff era that began in 1981. Only South Panola, which reached nine straight Class 6A championship games from 2002-10, has had a longer streak in any classification. We think Picayune defends its state championship in this one. Picayune 28, West Point 22.
  2. Brandon vs. Starkville (Class 6A state championship) — Brandon’s Will Elliot booted a 29-yard field goal on the last play of the game to give the Bulldogs a  thrilling 34-31 win over Ocen Springs last week. Brandon and Starkville have met just one time previously on the gridiron, a 27-21 win for the Bulldogs to open the 2019 season. Brandon has never won a state championship in football, but is back in the title game for the second straight season after falling to Madison Central last year. Starkville has six state championships on the gridiron, with the last in Class 6A coming in 2015 with a 27-7 win over Petal. Brandon 24, Starkville 21.
  3. Mendenhall vs. Louisville (Class 4A State championship game) — There were several “Southern Six” squads in Class 4A that had their sights set on a shot at the state championship as the state playoffs started, including both Poplarville and Stone among others. But mighty Mendenhall erased all of those hopes in consecutive weeks. The Tigers have knocked off defending Class 4A state champ Columbia, Poplarville and Stone in consecutive weeks in the postseason. Mendenhall has won three state football championships, but all came in a six-year span in the 1980’s. Louisville is 10-0 all-time in state championship games and can get its 11th with a win Saturday morning. This is the fifth all-time meeting between the teams, but the first in 28 years since 1994. Mendenhall 20, Louisville 19.
  4. CLASS 3A —  Raleigh 30, Noxubee County 24
  5. CLASS 1A — Bay Springs 21, McEvans 13
  6. CLASS 2A — Scott Central 27, Charleston 17


Written by Curtis Rockwell

Curtis has almost three decades of experience at four different daily newspapers across South Mississippi, specializing in Sports and live Music.


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