JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - No player on the 2019 Jackson Academy football roster has experienced the thrill of beating Jackson Prep.
It is something that is stuck in the craw of quite a few Raiders. After all, it’s essentially a lifetime of bragging rights considering that players from both teams have known each other since grade school and will still know each other once high school ends.
“It’s the biggest game of the year,” said Raiders senior kicker Land Gebhart.
Jackson Academy last beat Jackson Prep back in 2013. It has been five straight defeats since and, other than a 24-19 loss in 2014, none of the match-ups since have been particularly close.
But while also trying to exorcise that demon, the Raiders also feel like they need this game to wash out the horrible taste from last week’s loss at Pelahatchie. Jackson Academy went into halftime with the lead, only fall to the Chiefs, 49-37. That marked the second of a pair of losses where head coach Larry Weems felt like his team beat itself more so than the team across from them.
“Very little consolation for what the score was or if it was close,” said Weems who also referenced a 26-21 loss to Pillow Academy. “Bottom line is you have to perform when it’s crucial and if you do that and be successful, then great. If you don’t then you didn’t do well enough to get that win so we got to get better.”
The Raiders host Jackson Prep this Friday at 7 p.m. and WLBT’s The End Zone Game of the Week.