Tri-County Academy’s JoJo Jones runs behind Zac Clark.
Tri-County Academy’s JoJo Jones runs behind Zac Clark.
No. 1 Madison Central tops Clinton to move to 5-0

It wasn’t pretty or as convincing, but No. 1 Madison Central did exactly what it needed to do in a 21-15 win over Clinton Friday night to get to 5-0.

Arrows coach Judd Boswell had a fantastic game plan for Big Blue - they held the ball as long as possible to shorten the game and hung around looking for the big score late.

Luckily for Madison Central, it never came.

It was the Jaguar defense that made the noise early, when Nick Carter scooped a Clinton fumble and raced 29 yards for the touchdown to put MC ahead 7-0 in the first minute of the game.

Clinton responded with five minutes left in the first quarter with a 9-yard rushing touchdown, but missed the extra point, to cut Madison’s lead to 7-6.

Star quarterback Jimmy Holiday and the Madison offense went to work after that.

The Jags drove it down to the Clinton 11-yard line, where they were hit with a holding penalty that backed them into a 2nd-and-forever situation at the Arrows’ 23-yard line.

But like so many other big moments early in this 2019 season, Holiday answered. The senior connected with receiver Blake Gunter for a 23-yard touchdown pass to put the Jags up 14-6 at the half.

Clinton pulled within two points early in the second half on a 78-yard touchdown pass to E.J. Mason. The Arrows failed to convert the two-point attempt, which left Madison Central with a 14-12 lead.

The Jags picked up a little breathing room following another Nick Carter fumble recovery with three minutes to go in the third quarter.

Holiday led the MC offense 46 yards to the Clinton 1-yard line, then capped the drive himself with a run behind that big offensive line. That gave MC the 21-12 fourth-quarter lead.

Clinton pushed two more drives deep into Jaguar territory, but the Big Blue defense forced a turnover on downs and a field goal attempt, respectively.

Although the field goal made it 21-15 and a one-score game late, Madison Central recovered the ensuing on-side kick attempt and ran out the clock to seal the win.

Holiday ended up completing 7 of 9 pass attempts for 63 yards and the one touchdown and rushed for 90 yards and another score on 11 carries. Senior tailback Javarius Jordan did the heavy lifting with 17 carries for 126 yards.

Up next for the Jaguars is a trip to Jackson’s Hughes Field for a tilt with Murrah. The Mustangs (1-4) have lost four-straight following last week’s 14-9 loss to Greenville on the road.

Warren Central 35, Germantown 14

The Mavericks fought hard, but Germantown’s Region 2-6A opener against traditional power Warren Central did not go as planned Friday night.

The Mavericks (3-2) looked good early. Following a scoreless first quarter, Nick Barnes capped a 91-yard touchdown drive with a 9-yard run for a score to put Germantown ahead 7-0 early in the second quarter.

When defensive back Ojavien Francis intercepted a pass on Warren Central’s ensuing possession, it looked to all the world like the Mavericks would almost certainly take that lead into the half.

Then it all fell apart.

Warren Central forced a quick three-and-out and got good field position following a punt downed on the Germantown-side of the 50-yard line. Viking tailback Parker Kivett found the end zone from nine yards out a couple of plays later to tie the game.

Germantown got the ball back with a minute to go in the first half, but immediately fumbled it away at their own 14-yard line.

That set up Antonio Thomas’ 14-yard touchdown reception and helped Warren Central to a 14-7 lead at the break.

The Vikings rattled off three more touchdowns in the third quarter and never looked back.

Germantown finished the night with 246 yards of total offense. Colton Gardner completed 12 of his 22 passes for 110 yards and one interception, with one touchdown on the ground. Barnes had 21 carries for 141 yards and a score.

Up next for the Mavericks is another tough region game against No. 5 Starkville (4-2), which is coming off a 24-20 win over South Panola.

Velma Jackson 41, St. Joe 16

If you caught any action from Velma Jackson’s blowout win over St. Joe Friday night, it was probably a shot of a Falcon tailback running free in open space.

Velma (2-3) did what it wanted in the running game, amassing 429 rushing yards and four scores in route to a blowout win over their cross-county rivals.

Junior Davontez Lynn and sophomore Terrance Mack did most of the damage. Lynn carried the ball 18 times for 203 yards (an 11.3-yard average) and one touchdown and Mack added 168 yards on 17 carries with two scores.

Falcon quarterback Diallo Thompson connected with junior receiver Cortez Simpson for a pair of touchdowns as well.

St. Joseph (2-4) actually led 13-7 at halftime, but Velma put up four unanswered touchdowns in the third quarter.

Next up for the Falcons is a trip up Hwy. 49 North for their Region 6-3A opener against Yazoo County (5-1). The Panthers are coming off 34-8 win over Humphries County.

St. Joe also begins league play this week with a trip to Rolling Fork to take on undefeated South Delta (6-0) in both teams’ Region 4-2A opener.

West Lincoln 26, St. Andrew’s 20

Football equals frustration right now for St. Andrew’s, which lost a close one to West Lincoln Friday night in Ridgeland.

The Saints (1-5) put together their most coherent offensive performance of the season, creating 360 yards of total offense behind the two-headed rushing attack of Lleyton Carr and Jamon Harkless. The duo combined for 165 yards on the ground. Junior quarterback Trey Hebert showed signs of improvement, completing 11 of his 21 pass attempts for 192 yards and three touchdowns, but had two passes picked off.

What killed the Saints in the end was the run defense, which could not catch up to the potent West Lincoln rushing attack, which amassed 250 yards.

The Saints return to action this week in their Region 6-3A opener against McLaurin (2-4), which last week lost a tough game against Puckett 33-27 in double-overtime.

Jackson Prep 28, Taylorsville 0

The Patriots established their running game early, rode tailback Matt Jones and played stingy defense to become the first team to shut out the Tartars since 2004.

It was a statement game for Prep, which opened the season with a loss to Heritage Academy and a so-so performance against Oak Forest (La.) in Week 3.

The Patriots have now rattled off five wins in a row, and this latest one was a doozy.

Meanwhile, Jones went off for Prep. The junior carried the ball 20 times for 218 yards and two scores. That helped overcome a rough night for quarterback Jake Lange, who completed just one pass and threw three interceptions. Junior Riley Maddox fared a little better, copmleting 6 of 14 passes for 67 yards with one touchdown pass to (who else?) Jones.

Prep will take the 10-minute drive to face rival Jackson Academy (3-3) this Friday night.

Pelahatchie 49, Jackson Academy 37

The Raiders (3-3) did what they could, but they were no match for Pelahatchie in this MAIS-MHSAA matchup.

Pelahatchie tailback Ahmad Johnson ran for 360 yards and five touchdowns and threw the ball once on a trick play for a 17-yard touchdown to quarterback Quay Ragsdale.

What helped the Raiders hang in the game as long as they did was a 4-0 turnover margin, but even with the four extra possessions, the Raiders managed just 211 yards of total offense.

Jackson Academy returns to action at home this week against arch-rival Jackson Prep.

Tri-County 41, Winston Academy 20

The Tri-County Academy Rebels (5-1) continue to chug right along and ran their win streak to four games with a decisive win over Winston Academy.

TCA currently ranks third in the Mississippi Gridiron rankings for MAIS classification 4A between undefeated Riverfield, who the Rebels dropped a heartbreaker to in week two, and 6-1 Bowling Green, another Louisiana team, who the Rebels are not scheduled to face in the regular season.

The boys from Flora can pick up their sixth win Friday when they host winless Central Hinds Academy. The Cougars are coming off back to back beatings at the hands of Parklane Academy (51-22) and St. Joseph-Greenville (58-23).

Canton Academy 41, East Rankin 14

Canton Academy claimed its win of the season with a 41-14 beat down of East Rankin Academy (1-5) in Pelahatchie.

This week, the Panthers will play host to Greenville Christian (2-4). The Saints are coming off of their second straight win of the season with a 49-30 victory over Hillcrest (1-6).