Starkville Daily News - - S -

plays and in the red zone where he’s caught seven touch­downs this year. He’s cur­rently sec­ond on the team with 21 catches and 333 yards.

“I feel like I’m get­ting bet­ter each and ev­ery week,” Gard­ner said. “At first, I was

a lit­tle shaky, but I’m get­ting more con­fi­dent in my­self and be­liev­ing in my­self. Af­ter we lost to West Point, we all came to­gether and we’re do­ing well.”

Ro­drigues Clark has been vir­tu­ally au­to­matic when he’s been healthy this sea­son. The ju­nior run­ning back has 683 yards and 10 touch­downs in just six games this year and

he’s look­ing for more.

The big­gest dif­fer­ence has been quar­ter­back Ma­lik Brown. The ju­nior has re­ally be­come a dual-threat weapon for this year’s team pass­ing for 1,038 yards, 16 touch­downs and just four in­ter­cep­tions while rush­ing for 398 yards and four scores.

“He can do it all,” Madi­son

Cen­tral coach An­thony Hart said of Brown. “He can run, pass and make good de­ci­sion. He’s a good player. We had to play Cam Ak­ers last year and Brown presents some of those same is­sues as Cam in what he can do in the pass and the run game.”

This will be as tough of a test that Brown and the of­fense has seen all year, how­ever,

with only ex­cep­tion be­ing to West Point in its loss. It’s made for an in­ter­est­ing Fri­day night show­down for high stakes with the win­ner hav­ing a di­rect path to­ward a dis­trict crown.

Af­ter miss­ing out on the play­offs al­to­gether last year with one of their three divi­sion losses com­ing to the Jaguars, the Jack­ets love the

po­si­tion they’re in with four weeks left.

“If you want to be the best, you’ve got to beat the best and they’re one of the best right now,” Jones said of Madi­son Cen­tral. “Our goal is to come out this Fri­day and play a great brand of foot­ball. Go­ing into this game, I’m ex­cited based off the last few weeks.”

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