MADISON, Miss. (WLBT) - This week has been a weird one for the Madison Central football team.
With impending weather expected to wreak havoc this Friday, the Jaguars are forced to deal with an accelerated week of preparation ahead of a Thursday region 2-6A contest with South Panola. In a way though, the short turnaround can be a blessing in disguise for Anthony Hart’s squad as it allows for it to get back on the field quicker to wash away the disappointment from last week’s loss at Starkville -- the Jaguars’ first setback of the season.
“In our region, every week is pretty strong,” said Hart. “We know what we’ve got to do, South Panola is equal to Starkville, so it doesn’t get any easier. I guess you can say there is no rest for the weary here.”
Hart sees a lot of his team in South Panola. Both teams enter the game with one loss on the year, MCHS’s is a 24-21 loss at Starkville, while South Panola suffered a 24-20 loss against the same opponent and in the same setting. The Tigers have responded nicely after their loss with three straight wins, including a 69-21 thumping of Greenville a week ago. Behind a dominant rushing attack, South Panola is averaging 40.4 points per game this season.
The importance of this game not lost on Hart, who points out that a win not only keeps the pressure on Starkville, but it also more than likely sets you up for a home playoff game down the road.
“We got to get off the ground and get going,” he said. “South Panola is traditionally the top program in 6A football. We have to be able to slow them down a little bit on the running game and then we have to be able to run the ball against them.”
Kick-off between the Jaguars and Tigers is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Thursday from Madison Central.