Some high school football teams won’t face a playoff-savvy opponent until the season is several weeks old.
Central Private School and Silliman Institute don’t have that luxury.
The two Mississippi Association of Independent Schools teams open their season on Friday against opponents already looking toward the playoffs.
CPS plays host to Pineville-based Cenla Christian, while Silliman travels to Brookhaven, Miss., to take on Brookhaven Academy. Both games start at 7 p.m.
“They (Cenla) put up 28 points in their jamboree last week,” CPS coach Mike Longmire said. “Of course, they’re the team that knocked us out of the playoffs last year.
“They have several players back and so do we. It should be interesting. They’ll be a good test for us.”
The Rebels were 5-6 in 2010 and lost 16-6 to Cenla in the opening round of the MAIS Class 2A playoffs.
When Silliman coach T.J. Davis thinks about Brookhaven, his thoughts go back to 2009.
The Wildcats lost their season opener to Brookhaven that year. In the opening round of the 2A playoffs, the teams met again and it was a much closer game.
After watching his team lose its jamboree games a week ago, Davis is looking to instill a sense of urgency in his squad. Bettering last year’s 4-6 record is the goal for Silliman.
“We played well in our scrimmage and I thought we took a step back last week,” Davis said. “We had a couple of guys who were hurt and that was a factor. We just need a more consistent effort.
“Brookhaven had a quarterback last year who was a college prospect. He graduated, but they’ve got other guys, like their receiver, Christian Keene, who are back. They like to throw the ball and that puts a lot of pressure on any team.”
Interestingly, Central Private also will be looking to throw the ball more.
Quarterbacks Luke Fryoux and Kyle Blackburn have a corps of receivers led by Lance Wicker, Matt Myers and Jacob Carter.
Lineman-linebacker Brennan West, running back-linebacker Ryan Bowman and linemen Rhett Sequin and Marcus Sandifer are among the other players to watch.
Running back Devonta Dunbar and quarterbacks Graham Kelly and Jamar O’Connor help lead Cenla. O’Connor is a transfer from Alexandria Senior High.
Silliman will likely be without quarterback Jason Palermo, who continues to recover from a hand injury. Colt Ducote will get the start.
Running backs Cobb Kelly and Trey Rockaforte are other players to watch, along with linebacker Austin Gayle and two-way lineman Michael Austin.
Keene, defensive end Dayley Hodge, cornerback Jeff Rushing and quarterback Gage Posey are among the players to watch for the Brookhaven squad of first-year coach Tripp McCarty.
Friday’s MAIS Schedule
All games 7 p.m.
Cenla Christian at Central Private
Centreville Academy at Amite School Center-Liberty, Miss.
Copiah Academy at Oak Forest Academy-Amite
Parklane Academy at Bowling Green School-Franklinton
Silliman Institute at Brookhaven Academy-Brookhaven, Miss.