Tri-County Academy’s Grayson Smith explodes down the field.
Tri-County Academy’s Grayson Smith explodes down the field.
Two Madison County teams collided in Camden last Thursday when the Velma Jackson Falcons just managed to edge out the Ridgeland Titans for the first game of the season in a 24-21 bout.

Junior quarterback Antavious Willis was an impact player on last year’s Falcons squad, and if last Thursday is any indication not much has changed. Willis had 26 rushes for 275 yards and three of the Falcons' touchdowns. Willis was not the only man on the team to step up.

“Last year we really relied on the leadership of our seniors, but when you have a young team like we do this year you never know how they will respond to tough situations and I have to say our guys responded to adversity positively last week,” Falcons Coach Bernard Euell said.

Likely Velma Jackson’s best defensive player, junior middle linebacker Albert Day, accumulated 10 tackles in the first half, but went down with an injury before the second half. Euell said they likely would not know if he would play on Friday till later in the week.

On defense, the Titans' Deion Allen harried the Falcons backfield and managed seven tackles. Junior Michael Smith led them in tackles with 16 followed by senior Jaylen Tucker who had nine tackles and a blocked field goal. Smith also caused and recovered two fumbles.

"I saw a lot of things I liked last week, but we have got to work on holding onto the football moving forward. I think we are going to concentrate on that this week at practice," Euell said.

Ridgeland will face Northwest Rankin on Friday who is coming off a decisive victory over Germantown.

Velma Jackson prepares to travel to Canton for a classic rivalry matchup.

“This is a big game for both of our communities and Canton has a good ball club. You can watch film all day but when you go into a rivalry game anything can happen. I think we are up to the challenge and hope to see all people from our community to come out and support us,” Euell said.

Canton lost their season opener by a slim 20-18 margin to Hazelhurst, now 1-0. While the Tigers were able to match the Indians blow-for-blow for most of the game, two interceptions and a first quarter two-point conversion ultimately gave the Indians the edge.

In other area games:

The Germantown Mavericks are looking for answers after dropping their season opener at Northwest Rankin 24-0.

The Germantown defense held tight for the first half only allowing a field goal in the first quarter, but the Cougars found their stride in the second half and hung three touchdowns on the board.

The Mavericks will hope to pick up the pieces on the road again Friday when they face Yazoo County High School. The Panthers handily beat Murrah last Friday, 33-2.

The Tri-County Academy Rebels stomped Sylva Bay in their own backyard Friday night with a 45-8 victory in Bay Springs.

The Rebels ran a strong rushing game and their defense proved stingy all night long. Though they missed some extra point opportunities and a failed two-point conversion, it ultimately made little difference on the scoreboard.

The Rebels prepare to host St. Joe Friday night. The Bruins took a punishing home loss to Newton, 68-15, last Friday.

St. Joe managed their lone touchdown and a two-point conversion with five minutes and twenty seconds left in the first half to make it 26-8, but Newton had it sealed away at halftime with a score of 34-8. The Bruins would manage three field goals in the second half, but were ultimately outpaced by the Tigers.

Jackson Academy started their season with a big win in the Brickyard against Greenville’s Washington School. The final score was 25-7, Raiders.

Neither team got started until the second quarter but the Generals ran out of gas in the second half and could not over come the 7-9 half time deficit. JA continued rolling and put 16 more points on the board before the night was over.

The Raiders will hope to keep this momentum as they travel to Lamar this Friday. Lamar has already played two games. They posted an impressive 42-21 win against Bessemer Academy of Alabama but lost an equally lopsided bout to Starkville Academy, 43-21, last Friday.

Jackson Prep rolled their opponent, East Rankin Academy, 42-14 in their home non-conference opener.

A relentless attack from the Patriots appeared to have the game sealed away with a half time score of 35-7. Both teams would manage another touchdown in the fourth quarter.

Prep hopes to keep rolling as they travel to Greenville on Friday to face the Generals of Washington School.

Canton Academy dropped their season opener to familiar opponent Manchester Academy, 14-7.

The Panthers prepare to work out the kinks before they face their new batch of MAIS AAA opponents, the first of which will be St. Joe Greenville on September 1 in Canton after a bye week.

The Fighting Irish will be coming off a home game against Indianola Academy who won their week one opener against Pillow Academy handily, 41-14.

St. Andrew’s is the only Madison county School that is yet to play a football game. They open their season with Riverside in Avon on Friday.

Riverside opened their season with a 30-7 beating from their rivals at St. Joseph in Greenville.