Starkville Daily News - - SCORECARD -

school jobs in the state back last March.

In year one in a bit of a re­build, Hart had his team right in the thick of things. The Jaguars won 10 games, in­clud­ing seven-straight into the playoffs, and got to the sec­ond round against even­tual state champs Clin­ton be­fore los­ing a heart­break­ing 38-34 thriller.

This year Madi­son Cen­tral is off to a 6-1 start and come to Starkville on Fri­day car­ry­ing an iden­ti­cal 3-0 record as the Yel­low­jack­ets with the Re­gion 2 lead on the line.

Jones is very im­pressed

with this group.

“It’s a real good team,” Jones said. “They’re well­coached with some good play­ers over there. They have a lot of tra­di­tion and are used to win­ning.”

The strength of the team, agreed upon by Jones and Hart, is the de­fense. The unit re­turns a plethora of tal­ent from a year ago led by se­niors Kirk­land Tra­han, Truett Bourne and Cam White. All three have been the driv­ing force for a team that has been stingy on de­fense all sea­son.

“We’ve played re­ally well on de­fense all year,” Hart said. “We’re try­ing to get a lit­tle bet­ter on of­fense, but we feel

re­ally good about our team right now. I feel like things have re­ally come to­gether.”

Of­fen­sively, White also gives the Jaguars a push. The tal­ented ath­lete is a start­ing run­ning back and the only two-way player on the team. He leads the Jags with 589 yards on the ground and seven touch­downs.

Madi­son Cen­tral has run the ball 267 times in seven games as op­posed to just 77 passes.

The Jaguars are pre­pared to take on a great op­po­nent thanks to a tough sched­ule as usual. They’ve al­ready picked up wins over Bran­don, Clin­ton and War­ren Cen­tral this

sea­son and were within seven points of the state’s top 6A team in Pearl ear­lier in the year when they lost 14-7.

How­ever, Hart said that the Jack­ets will be the stiffest com­pe­ti­tion he’s faced this sea­son. Hav­ing bat­tled with Jones when Kem­per County and Franklin County met three years ago, he’s im­pressed with the job that the first-year SHS coach has done.

“I think we’re pre­pared,” Hart said. “Starkville is the best team we’ve played this year no doubt about it. They’re very tal­ented. I’ve faced coach Jones be­fore and this team is re­ally good.”

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