Photo by Fran Twiner
Photo by Fran Twiner

The Jaguars just can’t catch a break.

A week after losing at Starkville on a missed field goal, Madison Central fell to South Panola at home on a controversial flag on the game’s final play.

Madison Central quarterback Jimmy Holiday threw what he and everyone else in attendance thought was the game-winning touchdown pass to Logan Reed as time expired, but a holding call negated the play and gave the Tigers a monumental 38-34 win in the Jungle Thursday night.

"Last week on the road against Starkville we got some bad breaks created by someone besides players and tonight we got those same breaks," Madison Central coach Anthony Hart told reporters. "It's hard to lose like that especially when they botch it and don't give us the last play of the game like they're supposed to. But they need to work that out at the state level.”

The game-winning play that was called back would have capped a magnificent rally for the Jags, who trailed Mississippi’s most storied program 31-17 at halftime.

Madison Central (7-2, 3-2 in 2-6A) had no answer for South Panola’s offense early. Paced by Dandy Dozen tailback Janari Dean, who finished the night with 160 rushing yards and three touchdowns, the Tigers drove for four touchdowns and a field goal in five first-half possessions.

The second half was a different story.

Greg Hollins got the party started by intercepting Tiger quarterback Anterrio Draper and taking it 37 yards the other way for a touchdown to cut the South Panola lead to 31-24.

On South Panola’s ensuing possession, South Panola drove to the Madison Central 41-yard line before Dalton Stevens scooped a Tiger fumble and raced 59 yards for another defensive touchdown that tied the game.

The Jags took the lead, 34-31, with nine minutes left on Luke Bridges’ 30-yard field goal.

But South Panola wouldn’t go away. Draper, Dean and Co. put together a back-breaking 80-yard touchdown drive, and Dean’s 2-yard rumble with two minutes to go put them ahead for good.

Next up for the Jags is a short trip up I-55 for a date with Germantown (4-5, 1-4 in 2-6A), which was off last week.

Hartfield Academy 27, Tri-County 20

Tri-County wrapped up its regular-season slate Friday night in Flowood with a 27-20 loss to Hartfield Academy.

The Rebels (8-2) were punching above their weight class against a 5A school, but they held their own. Tri-County actually led 20-17 late in the fourth quarter before a couple of late scores by Hartfield put the game away.

Hartfield quarterback Cruz Garner finished with 227 all-purpose yards.

Tri-County earned the No. 2 seed in the 4A playoffs, which comes with a first-round bye. The Rebels will host the whoever emerges from the first-round playoff game between Brookhaven Academy and Kirk Academy this weekend.

Canton 37, Vicksburg 33

Jacobian Morgan threw for three touchdowns and the Canton running game returned to form in a 37-33 win over Vicksburg Thursday night in Canton.

The Tigers trailed 33-30 late, but Morgan connected found Tyrease Dunbar for his second touchdown reception of the night to seal the win in the final minutes.

Gavin Griffin and Nyles Montgomery combined for 137 yards on 27 carries and added a touchdown each in the running game.

Dunbar brought in five catches for 105 yards and Tyquan Henderson caught three balls for 22 yards, including Morgan’s other scoring pass.

The Tigers (6-3, 2-3 in 2-5A) are set to travel to Hughes Field in Jackson for a date with Provine this Friday night.

Velma Jackson 55, McLaurin 6

The Falcons remain alone atop the Region 6-3A standings following a 55-6 blowout win over McLaurin Friday night in Rankin County.

Diallo Thompson didn’t need to throw it much, but completed 9 of his 11 passes for 144 yards with three touchdowns. That was more than enough to pace a Falcon running game that pounded out 279 yards and four touchdowns on just 18 carries.

Thompson finished with 236 yards of total offense and four touchdowns.

Kinte Murry, Cortez Simpson and Timorriyun Jobe all scored rushing touchdowns and Diallo’s three touchdown passes all went to junior Justin Harvey (four catches for 83 yards).

The Falcons (6-3, 4-0 in 6-3A) will close out the regular season Friday night with a trip to Raleigh (4-5, 3-1 in 6-3A). The winner will capture the region crown and the top playoff seed coming for Region 6.

Raleigh 50, 

St. Andrew’s 21

St. Andrew’s took it on the chin again in a 50-21 loss to Raleigh.

The Saints (2-8, 1-3 in 6-3A) racked up 211 yards on the ground thanks to a solid performance by senior Lleyton Carr (23 carries, 116 yards, 2 touchdowns), bit it wasn’t near enough to keep pace with Raleigh (4-5, 3-1 in 6-3A), which secured a playoff berth with the win.

The Saints close out the regular season this Friday night at home against Crystal Springs (2-8, 1-3 in 6-3A). The winner of that game will clinch the region’s fourth and final playoff slot.

Pelahatchie 34, 

St. Joseph 0

The Pelahatchie Chiefs continued their dominance over Region 4-2A opponents with a convincing 34-0 win over St. Joe Thursday night.

The Bruins (2-8, 0-3 in 4-2A) had no answer for Pelahatchie quarterback Ahmad Johnson, who completed all five of his passes for 81 yards and a touchdown and rushed 29 times for 234 yards and two more scores.

The loss was the Bruins’ fourth in a row, but they can still clinch a playoff spot with a win over Riverside (2-8, 0-3 in 4-2A) Friday night in Madison.

Jackson Academy 23, Starkville Academy 7

The Jackson Academy defense showed up in a big way Friday night and did more than enough to overcome three turnovers in a 23-7 win over Starkville Academy.

The Raiders (6-4, 2-2 in District 1-6A) gave up one touchdown on Starkville Academy’s first possession of the game, when Dylan Starke caught a 20-yard pass from Randall Futral to cap a 10-play, 80-yard drive.

They never sniffed the end zone again.

Jackson Academy, meanwhile received a splendid performance from Tae Stewart, who made the most of his two carries with big runs of 61 and 33 yards. 

Marcus Harris scored on a 19-yard touchdown run with 3:05 to go in the second quarter to cap an 87-yard drive and tie the game at 7-7.

Ryan Parker ran for two touchdowns and JT Thigpen made a tackle in the end zone to add a safety.

The Raiders close out the regular season Friday night at Parklane Academy. Because of previous losses to both Jackson Prep and MRA, the Raiders are not in line for a first-round playoff bye but still need to win in order to avoid having to go on the road in the first round.

Jackson Prep 31, 

Parklane Academy 28

A week after falling to MRA, Jackson Prep nearly had another let down against Parklane Academy before pulling out a 31-28 win in McComb.

With the win, the Patriots (8-2) moved to 3-1 in District 1-6A play and now sits alone in second place.

The Patriots will close out the regular season with a home game against Presbyterian Christian (5-5, 1-3 in 1-6A) Friday night in Flowood.

Indianola Academy 33, Canton Academy 7

Canton Academy’s regular season came to an end Friday with a 33-7 loss to Indianola Academy on the road.

The Panthers (2-8) couldn’t overcome the onslaught from Indianola’s read-option based offense and fell behind 19-0 in the first quarter.

Canton Academy are the 12-seed in the MAIS 4A playoffs and will hit the road for the first round this week with a trip to Batesville for a date with 5-seed North Delta (7-3).