Prep roundup: Seasons end with playoff losses
Madison Central's season, once filled with so much promise, is over.
The Jaguars fell to Olive Branch 24-7 in the first round of the 6A playoffs Friday night.
The Conquistadors controlled the line of scrimmage, ran effectively and kept Madison Central's potent offense off the field for much of the night.
Senior Gary Banks and junior Preston Jeffries combined for 221 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 44 carries, and Olive Branch averaged better than five yards a carry as a team.
The Jags' defense didn't give up too much in the passing game - Olive Branch quarterback Eli Ashley completed just 6 of 10 passes for 147 yards - but did give up one big play, a 90-yard touchdown to Conquistador senior Temias Mason.
On the other side of the ball, Madison Central became almost completely one-dimensional.
The Jags' splendid quarterback Jimmy Holiday carried the ball 14 times for 113 yards and the lone MCHS touchdown, but Duke Arnold averaged just 3.7. yards on his 11 carries and Holiday never got not the same page with his receivers, completing just six of his 22 pass attempts for 41 yards with an interception. He was sacked three times.
Madison Central (9-3) led 7-3 at halftime following Holiday's first-quarter rushing touchdown, but Olive Branch took the lead on a touchdown in the third quarter and put it away with two more in the fourth.
The loss put an end to a season that once held so much promise for Madison.
The Jaguars earned the top spot in all the major weekly polls after defeating Brandon 28-14 in the second week of the season, and held onto it for seven weeks before suffering their first loss at Starkville - a 24-21 barn-burner on Oct. 18.
The Jags just didn't look as sharp after that game, but pulled out a win at Germantown and throttled lowly Greenville to finish the season, which gave MC fans some optimism headed into the playoffs.
Lake Cormorant 61, Ridgeland 25
The big question for Ridgeland headed into Friday's first-round matchup with Lake Cormorant was how its defense would respond to a big step up in competition.
The Gators answered that question for them Friday night, putting up 61 points and 426 yards of total offense in a 61-25 first-round win that ended the Titans' playoff run before it ever got started.
Ridgeland had no answer for the high-powered rushing attack from Lake Cormorant, which racked up 403 yards and six rushing touchdowns despite sophomore quarterback Telvin Amos attempting just three passes. Gator junior Jaiden Gray, alone, carried the ball 22 times and rattled off 190 yards and three touchdowns.
It was a nightmare scenario for Ridgeland, which finished the season 8-4 with the loss. The Titans seemed to have rebuilt some of the momentum from their remarkable 7-1 start with a solid defensive performance in a 43-20 win over Provine in the regular season finale.
That win gave the Titans the 3-seed coming out of their region, meaning they'd avoid (for at least another week) a first-round matchup with West Point, the defending 5A state champs.
None of that mattered Friday night.
Columbia 25, Velma Jackson 7
Velma Jackson's bid for the 3A ended Friday night with a 25-7 loss to Columbia on the road.
The Wildcats stuck to their guns and ran the ball behind that big offensive line, pounding out 326 rushing yards on the way to victory.
Senior Kentrel Bullock did the majority of the damage, with 155 yards on 24 carries with two touchdowns. Sophomore Omar Johnson racked up 89 yards on 15 carries and Joshua Brown and Tryson Johnson chipped in 40 and 26 yards, respectively. As a team, the Wildcats averaged better than 6.5 yards per carry.
Columbia quarterback Javen Moses completed just five passes for 127 yards, but two of those passes went for touchdowns to Sadarion Magee and Dashod Ball.
They led 13-0 after one quarter, 19-0 after two and 25-0 deep into the fourth quarter, when the Falcons scored their lone touchdown.
Velma Jackson finished the 2019 campaign with an overall record of 7-5 and a 4-1 mark in district play, despite dropping their first three games of the regular season.