Five Takeaways from Week 9

MRA takes down Jackson Prep

Behind a stellar performance from quarterback Philip Short, MRA dominated rival Jackson Prep 42-21 in a battle of unbeatens Friday night.

It was MRA’s first win over Jackson Prep since winning 14-7 at Prep in the first round of the playoffs back on Nov. 5, 2010. The win also snapped Prep’s 26-game winning streak, which was the second longest active winning streak in the state. We got this on our new website, Find Out More here.

Short would finish the game going 17-28 passing for 369 yards with four touchdowns and also ran for a score to lead the MRA offense. Following a pick-six with 7:21 left in the third quarter that was returned for a touchdown that tied the game at 14-14, Short turned in a stellar performance down the stretch.

MRA finished the game with 553 yards of total offense.

Cody Swanson had 123 yards rushing on nine carries with a touchdown and receiver Landes Purnell had five catches for 106 yards with two touchdowns for MRA.

The MRA defense held the potent Jackson Prep rushing attack in check, holding Prep to just 73 yards rushing and 269 yards of total offense.

MRA (9-0, 3-0 Class AAAA, Division I) continues division play this week as they travel to Oak Forest (La.) (7-2, 2-1), while Jackson Prep (8-1, 3-1) steps out of region play as they host MHSAA foe New Hope (1-8).


Top 10 showdowns

Last weekend featured an anticipated three match-ups of teams ranked in the Top 10. All three contests lived up to the hype.

  • Sixth-ranked West Point trailed the entire game, but Dantariyus Cannon would score on a 12-yard touchdown run with 28 seconds left in the game to lead the Green Wave past ninth-ranked Olive Branch 34-33. West Point outscored the Conquistadors 13-6 in the fourth quarter.
  • Fifth-ranked Starkville would get two rushing touchdowns by running back Rodrigues Clark and would use a late defensive stop at their own 23-yard line, including a sack by linebacker Zach Edwards, to escape by seventh-ranked Madison Central 21-17. A controversial call in the end zone to end the game only added to the drama of a big-time high school game.
  • Jamari Jones would throw three touchdown passes, two of them going to Jarrian Jones, to lead fourth-ranked Northwest Rankin past eighth-ranked Clinton 34-14.


Scott Central rolling along

In Class 2A, much of the state is already talking about a 9-0 team in Taylorsville. The Tartars are the clear leader at this point.

But there is another team in 2A that is 9-0 and has been dominating opponents.

Scott Central, under first year head coach Devin Cooper, shut out Scott County rival Lake 41-0 on Thursday night to remain unbeaten in a Region 4-2A matchup.

The Rebels forced four turnovers and turned those turnovers into touchdowns.

“I was glad to see our team take advantage of their mistakes. Lake is a good football team,” said Cooper, who’s a Scott Central graduate. “We are not the fastest team, but we’re a physical team and we love to hit people hard.”

The Rebels are led by a ground attack that is averaging 236 yards per game led by quarterback Treyon Wash along with running backs Jabrelynn Vivians and Hydee Barlow.

Defense is what Scott Central is built around. The Rebels only give up 7.6 points per game and are led by the duo of linebackers in Navonteque Strong and Vontae McDonald.

“We don’t coach to do anything special that’s just what kind of kids they are and on defense they get after it. Physical kids that play hard every play,” Cooper said. “They make a coach look good. I’ve been fortunate to be under Mickey Bounds and Judd Boswell and they’ve taught me so much. They know how to win, and I’ve been brought up that win and want to continue that.”

Scott Central has two big tests in the last two weeks of the regular season as they host Pelahatchie (8-1) in a non-region game on Friday and then go to Philadelphia, who beat the Rebels last year on a goal-line stand, on Oct. 26.


Choctaw Central snaps streak

The state’s longest active losing streak is over.

Choctaw Central knocked off Kemper County 44-20 on homecoming to snap their 32-game losing streak.

It was the Warriors first win since Oct. 2, 2015 against Southeast Lauderdale.

Quarterback Gerald Isom would have five touchdowns, one passing and four rushing, to lead Choctaw Central. Kashden Bell would have a rushing touchdown and converted four two-point conversion. Jakob Waiter also had a touchdown catch for the Warriors.

Choctaw Central (1-8, 1-2 Region 5-3A) host Winona (9-0, 4-0) on Friday.


Heritage Academy gets revenge

Last year Starkville Academy won this match-up in the final seconds.

This time around Heritage Academy got payback on the road using a stiff defense to get past the Volunteers 21-7 in a MAIS Class AAA, Region 2 match-up. The loss snapped Starkville Academy’s 19-game winning streak and put Heritage in the driver’s seat to win the division title.

Heritage intercepted three passes and held Starkville to one first down in the first half. They also held Volunteer running back Taylor Arnold to just 28 yards rushing on 13 carries.

Moak Griffin would have two touchdowns rushing and sealed the win for the Patriots with a 49-yard touchdown run late in the fourth quarter.

Patriot quarterback Carter Putt would hit Lex Rodgers on a 30-yard touchdown pass to put Heritage up 14-7 with 5:49 left in the third quarter.

The Patriots (7-2, 3-0 Class AAA, Region 2) host Canton Academy (4-5, 1-2) in a division game on Friday.