Pearl tailback Kenyatta Harrell (23) runs in for one of his six total touchdowns as Ridgeland defender Ayden Williams chases Friday night in Pearl.­
Pearl tailback Kenyatta Harrell (23) runs in for one of his six total touchdowns as Ridgeland defender Ayden Williams chases Friday night in Pearl.­
After back to back convincing wins to open the season, the Titans crashed back to earth with a blowout loss to the Pirates in Pearl.

Quarterback Zy McDonald and the Titans offense quickly ripped off back-to-back touchdown drives in the first quarter, but struggled to mount much a threat after Pearl made its defensive adjustments.

Pirate senior tailback Kenyatta Harrell ate the Ridgeland defense alive with more than 300 rushing yards and six total touchdowns.

“I knew they were bigger than us and they had a bunch of weapons,” Ridgeland coach David White said. “But I thought we’d be able to hold on and make it a lot closer than that. We need to get more experience and learn to play with more confidence, but overall we showed some fight until we got worn down.”

This week, the Titans host Terry (2-1), which is coming off a 33-0 win over Florence.



Madison Central 

outlasts NWR 24-7

The top-ranked Jaguars showed again Friday why their defense is considered one of the elite units in all of Mississippi high school football.

Madison Central (3-0) held Northwest Rankin to 86 yards of total offense and completely controlled the clock to avenge the second of four losses it suffered a year ago. The Jags already handed No. 3 Brandon a loss in the first game of the season.

Against Northwest (0-3), four different Jaguars got at least 10 carries and all experienced success running behind that big offensive line.

Duke Arnold led the way with 73 yards on 14 carries with a touchdown, and Javarius Jordan and Greg Hollins combined for 145 yards.

Senior quarterback Jimmy Holiday only needed to throw the ball 11 times and completed seven passes for 71 yards and a touchdown. He added 39 yards and one score on the ground.

Logan Reed caught the Jags’ lone TD pass from 14 yards out.

The Jaguars were slow to start and built just a 10-7 lead in the first half before blanking the Cougars  14-0 in the second half.

The defense just suffocated Northwest, especially in the second half. By the time the game ended, Madison Central had held the ball for 33.5 minutes to Northwest’s 13:52 and run 60 plays to the Cougars’ 22.

Junior defenders Creek Robertson and Joseph Perryman led the way with seven and five stops, respectively, and sophomore C.J. Barney had two tackles behind the line of scrimmage, including a sack.

Arnold, who doubles as a defensive back, also recorded his first interception of the season.

Madison Central may very well be the best team in the state, but it will have to wait until the end of the season to prove it. A win this Friday against Pearl (3-0), and they can go ahead and lay claim to the title of best team in the metro area.



Tri-County blasts 
Sylva Bay  41-21

Tri-County put up a ton of points for the third game in a row and thoroughly trashed winless Sylva Bay in a game that was never as close as the score suggests.

The Rebel offense is absolutely rolling under first-year coach Philip Wasson.

On Friday, just about everyone got involved. Cade Shepherd had two rushing touchdowns and Trace Dearman, Landon Harris and Joseph Jones all scored on the ground.

The Rebels (2-1) have proven lethal running behind that big offensive line, and are now averaging 42.33 points a game. They moved to No. 3 in the latest Mississippi Gridiron MAIS Class 4A poll.

Up next is a trip to Carrollton for a showdown with unbeaten Carroll Academy (3-0).



Pisgah too much for 
Saints in 53-13 route

The Saints will need to immediately forget Friday’s lop-sided loss to Pisgah if they want to avoid nightmares about Dragon tailbacks running free in open field.

Pisgah’s power running game decimated the Saints’ defense, rolling to 313 yards and three touchdowns Friday to give St. Andrew’s its second loss of the season.

The Saints (1-2) couldn’t match the firepower and finished the game with 242 yards of total offense.

Quarterback Aaron Cooper completed 9 of his 13 passes for 113 yards - with one interception - and rushed 10 times for 22 yards and one score. Lleyton Carr was the Saints’ best back with 77 yards on 25 carries.

Pisgah, meanwhile, did what it wanted.

Dragon quarterback Dillon Usry completed 6 of 7 pass attempts and threw two touchdown passes. Tailback Jackson Swales, who averaged 13 yards on three carries, also threw a scoring pass.

This week, St. Andrew’s will be looking for a little revenge at home as it squares off against rival St. Joe (0-3), which handed the Saints a 17-10 loss in Madison last year.



St. Joe drops 22-21 thriller to Richland

The Bruins came so close to getting off the snide, but they couldn’t finish off Rangers (3-0) late in the fourth quarter.

St. Joe tailback Brock Morris found pay dirt with four minutes to go in the third quarter to knot the game at 14-14, and Joe Pearson put the Bruins ahead 21-14 with less than five minutes to go with another rushing touchdown.

But Richland drove the field and scored on a Shane Wingate run with under a minute left on the clock. The Rangers went for two and the win, and the Bruins couldn’t keep the Rangers from gaining two yards on the ground to preserve the win.

Up next for St. Joe (0-3) is a short trip down I-55 for a showdown against arch-rival St. Andrew’s (1-2).



Velma can’t stop Natchez in 38-27 loss

It hasn’t been a good start to the season for Velma Jackson, but the jury is out on whether coach Bernard Euell’s plan for toughening his Falcons up for a post-season run will pay off.

Velma Jackson (0-3) dropped another tough game against a good 5A Natchez team Friday night at home. The Bulldogs (2-1) rolled to 242 rushing yards and scored three touchdowns on the ground and two more through the air.

It was the 3A Falcons’ third loss to a 5A opponent in a row.

Velma doesn’t return to action until Sept. 13 with a trip to Carthage to take a shot at 4A Leake Central (1-2).



Pillow smothers Canton Academy 45-0

Canton Academy was punching above its weight class against the No. 2 team in MAIS 5A Friday night in Canton, and they got knocked out.

The Mustangs (3-0) from Greenwood delivered haymakers early in the game and cruised to a 24-0 halftime lead and never looked back.

The Panthers (0-3) are still looking for their first win of the season headed into a much more winnable game this Friday at Clinton Christian Academy (2-1).