MADISON — Madison Central coach Toby Collums challenged his team all week at practice following last week’s heart-stopping loss to Starkville.
On Friday night, the No. 3 Jaguars responded.
Madison Central rolled to nearly 300 rushing yards and the defense pitched a shutout en route to a 35-0 homecoming win over Grenada in the Jungle.
“We stressed all week to our guys about putting together a complete game,” Collums said. “We hadn’t done that until tonight. You go back to Week 1 against West Jones, we played two and half quarters of good football and won the game, and then you saw the same thing against Brandon. Defensively, the mantra of the week was ‘swarm to the football’, and we obviously did a good job of that with the goose egg on the scoreboard.”
The Jaguar defense was electric. Grenada got the ball eight times and earned just six first downs. They punted on the first six possessions and turned it over on downs on the final two. The Chargers’ star tailback Joe Moss, who lit up half of Region 1-6A in non-region games and came in averaging 215 yards a contest, finished Friday night’s with 74 yards on 24 carries.
The two teams played to a 0-0 tie in the first quarter after Robert Dumas Jr. fumbled it away at the Grenada 31-yard line on the Jaguars’ opening possession. Dumas would make up for it later, but the early mistake allowed the Chargers (4-2, 0-2 in Region 2-6A) to hang around for a while.
The Jaguars (3-1, 1-1 in Region 2-6A) got on the board early in the second quarter, when De’andre Pullen capped a nine-play, 61-yard touchdown drive with a 1-yard scoring run.
After a quick three-and-out for Grenada on the ensuing possession, Dumas rattled off a 43-yard run to set the Jaguars up with a first-and-goal at the Grenada eight yard-line. Quarterback Vic Sutton covered that distance with a scramble on the very next play to put the Jags ahead 14-0.
After the homecoming festivities at the break, Madison Central scored on its first three possessions of the second half.
Dumas broke free for a 40-yard scoring run on the opening possession, and Sutton tossed two touchdown passes — a 14-yarder to Jake Norris and a four-yard out to Blake Gunter.
The Jaguars rushed for 295 yards as a team, with Dumas Jr. leading the way with 14 carries for 142 yards.
“I think we’re coming along well as an offense,” said Pullen, who finished with 34 yards to go with his touchdown run and played half the game on defense. “You always want to continue to get better, but I think we’re really doing well with the running game.”
(Feature photo by Keith Warren)