Four Down Territory: Region 2-6A is up for grabs, Regan is running wild, and Black hits a milestone

Published 8:00 am Monday, October 26, 2020

You’re in Four Down Territory. Each week we’ll examine four notes, nuggets, stats and trends from the weekend that was in Mississippi high school football, college football and the NFL.

Warren Central and South Panola have moved their regular-season finale up one week, and will play this Friday night at Viking Stadium. That will allow them both to sit back and hope their result brings an increasingly chaotic MHSAA Region 2-6A playoff picture comes into focus.

With two weeks left in the season, only Germantown has been eliminated from contention for one of four playoff berths. Five teams are still alive, and there exists a scenario where there could be a five-way tie for first place. Since the MHSAA realigned to six classifications in 2009, there has never been a two-loss champion from Region 2-6A.

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Clinton (5-2, 4-1 Region 2-6A) moved into the driver’s seat for the region title when it beat Warren Central 31-16 last week. It will win the region title if it beats Starkville on Nov. 6 — if Starkville even plays. The Yellow Jackets will forfeit this week’s originally scheduled game against Warren Central because of a COVID-19 outbreak.

Warren Central (7-1, 5-1) missed a chance to clinch its first region title since 2004 when it lost to Clinton, but can still do it by beating South Panola and having Starkville beat Clinton.

Starkville (7-2, 4-2), South Panola (7-2, 4-2) and Madison Central (5-3, 3-2) are also in the mix, but must win their remaining game or games, have some other results go their way, and then hope several tiebreakers put them in the playoffs instead of out.

Sha’Kori Regan was supposed to be Vicksburg High’s starting quarterback this season. Instead, he’s found success lining up behind the quarterback and taking handoffs instead of giving them.

Regan had his third 100-yard rushing game of the season on Thursday, with 106 yards and four touchdowns in a 36-20 victory over Canton. With one game left in the regular season he has matched his 2019 total of eight rushing touchdowns and surpassed his yardage total of 686 while playing in only seven games.

Regan missed the season opener against Warren Central and was limited in a Week 2 loss at Biloxi because of a hand injury — the same injury that led him to move from quarterback to running back in the first place.

Regan showed what he was capable of on the opening possession of the third quarter against Canton. He carried the ball 10 times for 35 yards on a 60-yard touchdown drive, and then added the two-point conversion run to give the Gators a 22-20 lead. They never trailed again.

“If Sha’Kori would have been in the weight room for the past four years he probably would be one of the best running backs in the state of Mississippi. When we stall out, that’s some of the problem. We’re not physically strong yet. We’ll get there, though,” Vicksburg coach Todd McDaniel said. “The kid is a college running back. And I don’t know what they’re waiting on.”

Vicksburg (3-6, 3-3 Region 2-5A) has an open date this week and finishes the regular season Nov. 6 at Holmes County Central.

Jackson Prep head coach Ricky Black added another milestone to a legendary career on Friday when his Patriots beat Parklane Academy 23-0. It was the 400th career victory for Black, who is in his 35th season as a head coach.

Black joined Centreville Academy’s Bill Hurst as the only Mississippi coaches to reach the 400-win mark. Hurst has won 406 games in 44 seasons, all at Centreville. Black has a 400-73 record with Kosicusko (1975-79), Tupelo (1980-90) and Jackson Prep (1997-2020).

Black finished 5-5 twice at Tupelo, but has never had a losing season. He has won at least nine games every season he’s been at Jackson Prep, and has led the Patriots to 13 MAIS championships.

In an increasingly bleak season, the Dallas Cowboys hit a new low Sunday in a 25-3 loss to the Washington Football Team.

The Cowboys fell behind 22-3 at halftime, marking the sixth game in a row they have allowed at least 20 points in the first half. No NFL team had done that since at least 2000. Dallas’ last six opponents have scored 29, 23, 31, 20, 21 and 22 points in the first half.

Washington had not scored more than 20 points in an entire game since a 27-17 Week 1 win over Philadelphia.

In two games since quarterback Dak Prescott suffered a season-ending ankle injury, the Cowboys (2-5) have scored 13 points. They were averaging 32.8 per game with Prescott in the lineup.

About Ernest Bowker

Ernest Bowker is The Vicksburg Post's sports editor. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post's sports staff since 1998, making him one of the longest-tenured reporters in the paper's 140-year history. The New Jersey native is a graduate of LSU. In his career, he has won more than 50 awards from the Mississippi Press Association and Associated Press for his coverage of local sports in Vicksburg.

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