Five Takeaways from Week 4

Oxford quarterback John Meagher. Photo by Chris Brooks.

Madison Central claims clear cut No. 1 spot

For the second time in three weeks Madison Central won the battle of No. 1 vs. No. 2 as they ran past Pearl 34-21 in “The Jungle” on Friday night.

TCU quarterback commit Jimmy Holiday was the difference in this one, throwing for 161 yards with a touchdown and rushing for 255 yards on 17 carries with four touchdowns to lead the top-ranked Jaguars (4-0).

Holiday had an 82-yard touchdown run that put Madison Central up 7-0 early. Pearl would tie the game on a flea-flicker pass from Gunnar Dennis to Tre Davis.

Holiday answered with a 50- yard run to the end zone to put the Jaguars up 14-7 with just under a minute to go in the second quarter.

Pearl would tie the game at 14 on their first possession of the third quarter when Kenyatta Harrell scored from six yards out.

After that Pearl score it was all Holiday as he would score on a 10-yard touchdown run, throw a 48-yard touchdown pass to Ben Davis and later cap off the scoring with a 47-yard touchdown run with five minutes left in the fourth quarter.

Harrell added a 1-yard touchdown run for Pearl with under a minute to go in the game.

Harrell had 228 yards rushing on 31 carries with two touchdowns to lead the second-ranked Pirates (3-1).

Philadelphia knocks off Noxubee County

Philadelphia jumped out to a 14-0 lead and held off a late Noxubee County rally as the Tornadoes held on to win 23-22 in Macon in a battle of teams ranked in the Little 10.

Philadelphia’s Lideatrick Griffin had two rushing touchdowns in the first quarter. Quarterback Asher Morgan threw a 38-yard touchdown pass to Kadarius Callaway.

Noxubee County took a 22-20 lead on an interception return for a touchdown, but Philadelphia’s Connor Long hit a 20-yard field goal with 30 seconds left give the Tornadoes the 23-22 win. and Philadelphia would get a sack on fourth down by Deiondre Fox to seal the win.

Morgan had 210 yards passing for the Tornadoes (3-1), ranked No. 3 in the Little 10 and No. 2 in 2A.

Starkville runs past Louisville

Seventh-ranked Starkville (2-2) was impressive in a thumping of rival Louisville 35-7.

After being pulled in the third quarter last week, Luke Altmyer bounced back to lead the Yellowjackets with 192 yards passing with two touchdowns.

The Starkville defense sacked Louisville quarterback Bryandrea Shumaker four times and held the Wildcats to just 248 yards of total offense and nine first downs.

Taylorsville, Oxford win in blowout fashion; Laurel stuns Petal

Taylorsville quarterback Ty Keyes threw for 373 yards with four touchdowns as the Tartars ran past Seminary 40-6 in a showdown of undefeated ranked teams in the Little 10.

All of Keyes’ touchdowns came in the first half to lead Taylorsville (4-0), ranked No. 2 in the Little 10 and No. 1 in 2A.

The Taylorsville defense held the run heavy Seminary offense to just 106 yards total and the Bulldogs (3-1) did not have a first down in the first half.

In the Crosstown Classic, no last-minute heroics were needed this year as Oxford buried previously ranked Lafayette 46-7.

Oxford quarterback John Meagher passed for 164 yards and added 28 yards rushing with two touchdowns to lead the Chargers (3-1).

J.J. Pegues and K.J. Wadley each had a rushing touchdown, while Tristan Shorter had a 13-yard interception return for a touchdown.

Oxford held Lafayette’s strong rushing attack to 146 yards total, including just 10 yards in the first half. The Commodores were averaging 246 yards per game coming into the contest.

Laurel jumped out to an early lead and later rallied to defeat previously ranked Petal 21-14.

The Golden Tornadoes went up 14-0 at halftime on a Kiron Benjamin 5-yard touchdown run in the first quarter and a Xavier Evans 15-yard touchdown pass to Bryce Page.

Petal’s Micah McGowan scored on an 85-yard touchdown run and a 30-yard touchdown run in the third quarter to tie the game up at 14.

Benjamin scored his second rushing touchdown of the game from 2 yards out with two minutes left in the third quarter to give Laurel the 21-14 lead.

On Petal’s potential drive to tie the game, Laurel’s Sydarius Byrd recovered a fumble at the Panthers 46-yard line to seal the win for the Golden Tornadoes.

Unbeatens

Through the first four weeks of the season there are now 34 undefeated teams in the MHSAA and 15 undefeated teams in the MAIS.

The MHSAA schools that are unbeaten are:

 Class 6A: Madison Central, South Panola, Oak Grove, St. Martin, Biloxi.

Class 5A: Canton, Provine, West Jones, Picayune.

Class 4A: Itawamba AHS, Greenwood, Richland, South Pike, Bay High.

Class 3A: North Panola, Water Valley, Winona, Houston, Crystal Springs, Columbia, Magee, West Marion.

Class 2A: East Webster, Northside, Bay Springs, Enterprise-Clarke, Mize, Taylorsville, Lake, Union, Pisgah, South Delta.

Class 1A: Resurrection, West Lowndes.

The MAIS schools that are unbeaten are:

Class 6A: MRA.

Class 5A: Heritage Academy, Hartfield Academy.

Class 4A: North Delta, Riverfield (La.)

Class 3A: Winona Christian, Greenville St. Joe.

Class 2A: Humphreys Academy, Manchester Academy.

Class 1A: Calhoun Academy, Wilkinson Christian, Briarfield (La.), Prairie View (La.), Tallulah (La.), Tensas (La.).

MHSAA vs. MAIS

MAIS schools have earned some bragging rights.

This past Friday night schools from the MAIS went 4-0 against teams from the MHSAA. Heritage Academy beat Caledonia 32-12, Jackson Academy beat NE Lauderdale 42-27, North Delta shut out Strayhorn 32-0, and PCS beat Sumrall 3-0.

The MAIS now holds a 15-3 edge over MHSAA teams in matchups between the leagues this season.

There are two matchups this week between the two associations highlighted by a showdown of two teams ranked in the Little 10 as MRA travels to Philadelphia. The Tornadoes are ranked No. 3 in the Little 10 and No. 2 in Class 2A while MRA checks in at No. 4 in the Little 10 and No.1 in the MAIS.

The other matchup is J.Z. George at Central Holmes.