Locke's Locks: Week 3 high school football picks

Sep. 8—The scene: Monday night, I'm on the couch watching the Clemson-Duke game. Clemson had already lost a fumble in the red zone, and as they lined up inside Duke's 5-yard line, I said, "Clemson's gonna fumble again."

Moments later, the Tigers did just that, and Duke scooped it up. It was a huge play for the Blue Devils, who pulled the upset. And it gave me a realization: I have become too powerful.

My prognostication skills have been flawless through two weeks of the high school football season: I'm 12-0 on picking winners. Not only that, several of my score predictions have been pretty darn accurate.

My clairvoyance has reached new heights. So now let me tell you exactly who will win the big Week 3 games. I can see it all so clearly...

Choctaw County at Ripley

Both these teams are 2-0. Ripley has a tough defense, but it hasn't faced someone like Caleb Cunningham, Choctaw County's five-star receiver. All the big-boy schools want this 6-foot-3, 180-pound junior — Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Alabama, Auburn, Georgia, Florida State, Texas A&M, Oregon. The list goes on.

Ripley has a pretty good offensive weapon, too, in running back Keegan Strong. He's lightning fast, and he'll need to have a big game tonight. But even that might not be enough.

The Pick: Choctaw County 31, Ripley 21.

Pontotoc at Shannon

Pontotoc's defense has played very well thus far. The Warriors (1-1) only allowed three points through three quarters in a 17-0 loss to Amory, and they shut down South Pontotoc last week in a 42-10 win.

Shannon (1-1), on the other hand, committed four turnovers last week in a 28-14 loss to Houston. The running game struggled, but top rusher Keegan Ruff is expected to return this week from an ankle injury.

This game is always tough to predict. The last two meetings have been won by the road team. If I miss on a prediction this week, it'll probably be this one. (But I won't miss, because I'm too hot right now.)

The Pick: Pontotoc 17, Shannon 14.

Lafayette at Itawamba AHS

IAHS is coming off a surprising 23-21 loss to Caledonia. Lafayette rebounded from a Crosstown Classic beatdown and edged Horn Lake, 28-21.

Both teams have new quarterbacks. But the concern for Itawamba so far has been its lackluster running game, which is averaging just 3.5 yards per carry.

You'd expect that to improve given who the Indians have up front: Oklahoma commit Isaiah Autry and Tupelo transfer Michael Wallace. I'm looking for a better showing tonight

The Pick: Itawamba AHS 27, Lafayette 23.

Bonus Picks

—Amory 30, Caledonia 14

—North Pontotoc 35, Corinth 24

—West Point 31, Noxubee County 20

Last week: 6-0

Overall: 12-0

Brad Locke is senior sports writer for the Daily Journal. Contact him on Twitter @bradlocke or via email at