Trey Smith (12) looks to throw over Brandon's Fletcher Adams.
Trey Smith (12) looks to throw over Brandon's Fletcher Adams.
BRANDON - Bobby Hall was brief in his post-game speech to his fourth-ranked Jaguars following Madison Central's electric 21-14 win over third-ranked Brandon Friday night at Louis Gene Strickland Field.

He praised his players' ability to hold onto the football, he gave it up to his defense for giving his offense a chance to take the lead, then protecting it once they had it, and he ended with four words that could turn into a rallying cry for the rest of the season - "The Jags are back!"

It's hard to imagine a tougher set of season-opening games for Madison Central, which must travel 173 miles Friday night, one-way, to play another tough road contest at Gulfport. But if Hall and the Jaguars are going to be ready for the grueling pace of post-season play, this is certainly one way to prepare.

"It's another tough ballgame," Hall said. "There's no doubt about it. They're another team that is picked to win their region, and we're going to have to prepare for them just like we prepared for Brandon."

Gulfport defeated Bay High 42-7 last Friday night in the inaugural Shrimp Bowl, behind the play of dual-threat quarterback Richaud Floyd.

Floyd - a verbal commitment to the University of Missouri - rushed twice for two touchdowns and 83 yards and completed four of his five passes for 129 yards and two more scores. The Admirals also returned an interception 70 yards for a touchdown and scored on an 88-yard punt return.

It's another big test - one Hall said his team will have to play better than it did Friday night to pass.

Madison Central did a great job on turnovers - forcing three and not giving any back to Brandon (0-1) - but drew seven penalties and dropped four passes (three on third down).

The Jags also drew 11 flags, including multiple calls of encroachment.

"We're not near as good as we are going to be," Hall said afterward. "We had some routine things in the first half that we didn't execute, and if we had done those things the way we had in practice, this (game) wouldn't have been this close."

Jaguar quarterback Trey Smith accounted for all three MC touchdowns, completing 5-of-11 passes in the first half, including a 25-yard touchdown pass to Keenan Barnes for Madison Central's first score that put them ahead 7-0 early.

He threw the ball just once in the second half, and ended up leading all rushers with 24 carries for 120 yards and two more touchdowns.

"Trey's one of the best players in the state," Hall said. "He's got serious potential. He's athletic, he's smart and he can do all the things you want your quarterback to be able to do."