Arguably the top team in Mississippi—led by indisputably the top player in Mississippi—will take on one of the top teams from Oklahoma—led by the top prospect in the Sooner State—when Nakobe Dean leads Horn Lake (MS) against Dax Hill and Booker T. Washington (OK) on Saturday.
Who: Horn Lake (MS) vs. Booker T. Washington (OK)
Where: Independence Bowl, Shreveport, LA
When: Saturday, Sept. 8 at 11 AM CT
Watch: LIVE on FloFootball
Washington was this close to an upset win over Arkansas’ top team, North Little Rock, last week. But the Charging Wildcats did, indeed, charge back from a 13-point deficit to stun the Hornets in front of the home fans in Tulsa.
Quarterback Dwight Hamilton completed 12-of-22 passes for 264 yards and three touchdowns—including a 46-yard scoring strike to Hill. Marcus Potter hauled in five receptions for 140 yards and two touchdowns.
Horn Lake has been steam rolling folks out of the gates, hammering Shannon (MS) 51-6 on Aug. 24, followed by a 52-12 demolition of Charleston (MS) last week.
The Eagles piled up 474 total yards of offense in the latter victory, including 343 yards on the ground. Dean and the defense allowed Charleston to generate just 74 yards of offense.
Plenty of Talent On Display
Dean and Hill are the headliners—and rightfully so. Dean is a massively talented linebacker who possesses the athleticism to play inside, outside—or even in the secondary—at the next level. Hill is one of the fastest players in the country and long ago established himself as the top ’19 prospect in Oklahoma.
Neither has committed—or even really hinted at a commitment—which can, in large part, be viewed as an extension of the business-like demeanor both exude.
The cast around them, on both sides, is also full of Power Five-caliber talent, including Washington four-star wide receiver Javian Hester and Horn Lake three-star athlete Raydarious Jones. Keep an eye on Jones, in particular, who's being recruited as a cornerback, but quarterbacks the Eagles' offense.
Managing the Always-Tricky Early Kickoff
The 11 AM kickoff can be a problem, even at the college level, where it’s relatively commonplace.
In high school? This may be the only time in the careers of these players and coaches that they kick things off this early in the day. So, not only do these teams have to combat the potential distractions that come with a long road trip, but they’ll also have to adjust their gameday schedules and routines to match the brunch time start.
Washington O vs. Horn Lake D
Horn Lake should have some success moving the football against the Hornets. Hill is a star, but, to an extent, the Eagles can gameplan to avoid him—and they’d prefer to keep the ball on the ground anyway.
Assuming a reasonable level of rushing success for Horn Lake, the onus will ultimately fall on the Booker T. Washington offense to find ways to keep pace against a Dean-led defense that has absolutely strangled opposing offenses thus far.
Prospects to Watch
Nakobe Dean, LB, Horn Lake —⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (Uncommitted)
Dax Hill, ATH, Booker T. Washington — ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (Uncommitted)
Javian Hester, WR, Booker T. Washington — ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (Uncommitted)
Raydarious Jones, ATH, Horn Lake — ⭐️⭐️⭐️ (Uncommitted)
Tyler Grim, RB, Horn Lake — ⭐️⭐️⭐️ (Uncommitted)