Noxubee County has been a nemesis for not only the Starkville Yellowjackets, but also football coach Jamie Mitchell.
The Tigers, who invade Yellowjacket Stadium Friday night, have beaten Starkville the last two seasons. The Jackets lost a 33-20 decision in Macon last season and 14-7 at home in 2010.
Mitchell has not had much success personally against Noxubee County. Going back to his days as coach at Itawamba AHS, he has a 1-5 mark against the Tigers.
"They've got our number and have had our number," Mitchell said. "It will be a great challenge for us because they are phenomenal on defense. It will be tough to get points."
Noxubee County is led on defense by senior linebackers Javancy Jones and Dylan Brantley. Jones had 17 sacks last season, while Bradley had been on the radar for several Division I colleges.
"They are built around team speed and fly to the football," Mitchell said. "You may think you have them blocked and they get off blocks. You can have some things executed pretty well and they just don't stay blocked very long."
Offensively, Noxubee County is led by senior quarterback Deangelo Ballard and senior running back Darrell Robinson. Robinson had 1,086 yards rushing and 13 touchdowns last season.
Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. in Starkville.
- Danny P. Smith
SA to see St. Andrews QB again
Starkville Academy opens the 2012 season on the road Friday at St. Andrews Episcopal in Ridgeland and will once again have to deal with quarterback Jonathan Taylor.
The Saints were 4-7 a year ago. In last year's first game, the Volunteers beat the Saints 38-3 in Starkville.
Taylor was 8-of-15 passing in that game with 55 yards. He also threw an interception and lost a fumble.
Taylor threw for over 1,000 yards with eight touchdowns and 10 interceptions last year.
The Saints top returning rusher from the 2011 game is Connor Woodall. He went for 37 yards on nine rushes a year ago.
Woodall averaged 5.98 yards per rush last season with six touchdowns.
"First game, there's always some mystery," SA head coach Jeff Terrill said. "It's difficult to find out if they have lost any kids or if they've picked up any kids. We played each other last year so there's a little bit more familiarity with schemes. Both teams have made some changes I'm sure, both in personnel and schemes."
Matt Warren had 11 tackles in last season's meeting. He had five solos and six assists.
The Saints only points came on a 31-yard field goal by Thomas Wilson.
Kickoff in Ridgeland is set for 7:30 p.m.
– Ben Wait