Madison-Ridgeland Academy running back Tyler Latham scampers for a 25-yard gain in the Patriots’ romp over Washington School Friday night in Madison.
Madison-Ridgeland Academy running back Tyler Latham scampers for a 25-yard gain in the Patriots’ romp over Washington School Friday night in Madison.
There’s been a lot of buzz around MRA in recent months about all the construction taking place on campus, but the Patriots’ football home opener was more about destruction. 

More like demolition, really.

MRA got off to a fast start once again and rolled to a 50-7 victory over out-matched Washington School on Friday evening at a festive Patriot Field. It was indeed a wipeout on white out night.  

“It was kind of like last week (47-6 win over Bessemer Academy), we came out and did what we needed to do early,” MRA head coach Hebert Davis said. “I’m real proud of our guys coming out here and doing what they’re supposed to do. We played well, got off to a big lead, and then we were to get some of the younger guys in and let them play some. It’s always good to do that.”

As was the case in last week’s lopsided intersectional win over Bessemer Academy in Montgomery, quarterback Philip Short came out throwing the ball early and often with a lot of success. The strong-armed senior signal caller completed 15 of 19 passes for 248 yards and three touchdowns helping MRA build a 43-0 halftime lead. The Patriots reached the end zone on their opening five possessions and got nine points from their special teams to boot.

MRA played the part of the Harlem Globetrotters and the Washington Generals played, well, the role of the Washington Generals. They were flagged for too many players on the field on one play and still couldn’t find a way to slow down the Patriots.

“We like to come out and throw it early in games like this, and that’s what we did,” Davis said. “I thought our run game was okay, but our (pass) protection was outstanding. If we can give (Philip) that type of protection we’re going to have some guys get open.”

That has certainly been the case the first two weeks of the season. MRA, 2-0, has outscored its first two opponents 97-13 with a combined halftime score of 83-0. The competition has been less than stellar up to this point, so it’s hard to get a true read on just how good and just how successful this team will be as the schedule toughens and the season plays out. So far, so good, though. Without question, the Patriots have a lot of firepower on offense, and the defense has looked stout despite the absence of three key starters (injury).

MRA hosts Copiah next week in what will be the middle game of a three-game home stretch. The Patriots went undefeated during the regular season a year ago and finished 12-1 following a disappointing loss in the State championship game. Is this year’s team better? Is this the year the Patriots finally clear that final hurdle and capture the coveted yet elusive title? 

“We’re really not thinking about all that right now . . . we’re not leaning any way,” said running back A.J. Hasley, who had a pair of short touchdown runs in the first half. “We’re just focusing on being us, improving every single day, and being the best this team can be. We’re not comparing ourselves to last year’s team or any of the teams in our league this year. We’re just going to keep climbing, trying to get better.”