The End Zone: MRA ends JA’s undefeated run, capitalizes on Raider mistakes to win 21-6

Published: Sep. 16, 2022 at 11:44 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Week 5 of Friday night lights in central Mississippi was headlined by the unbeaten Jackson Academy Raiders against the reigning MAIS 6a State Champions, the MRA Patriots.

To see the full list of scores, click here.

MRA (4-2) at Jackson Academy (4-1)

WLBT Sport’s Game of the Week was headlined with both teams facing off in a true game of opposites.

The game between the MRA Patriot high-tempo offense versus the low-tempo, hard-nosed Raiders presented a matchup of unpredictability. With both units ultimately canceling each other out, special teams play decided the result.

The Patriots scored the first points of the game, capitalizing off of a blocked JA punt to go up 7-0 midway through the first quarter.

Both teams forced back-to-back turnovers, with the JA defense recovering a fumble at the Raider 48-yard line to give the struggling Jackson Academy offense favorable field position.

However, MRA took advantage of another blocked Raider punt and would increase their lead 14-0 off of an 8-yard run from Running back Charles Simpson late in the second quarter.

Looking for momentum headed into the halftime break, JA tallied a 22-yard field goal to edge closer to MRA 14-3.

After the break, JA added another field goal on their opening drive, trailing 14-6.

With total momentum in the ball game, the Raiders had the chance to tie with the ball in their possession of the ball with 5:17 left in the third. However, the MRA defense came to play, forcing another JA turnover.

Scoring all of their points off of Raider mistakes, the Patriots pounced on another opportunity gifted by the MRA defense as MRA quarterback and Southern Miss commit John White tossed a 29-yard touchdown pass to increase the Patriot lead 21-6.

The Raider defense stayed strong and would not allow another score in the second half. However, the JA offense was unable to find their rhythm on the night, losing their first game of the season 21-6.

The reigning champs put together an experienced performance, with the Patriots slowly getting back to their best after a 2-game losing streak.

“[MRA] played their hearts out tonight, that’s what I just told [my team],” MRA head Coach Herbert Davis said after the victory. “The effort, to just keep fighting, and the bend but don’t break type deal has kinda been [the Patriots] deal all year. I’m very proud of our defense.”

Parklane Academy (4-1) at Jackson Prep (5-0)

The battle of the undefeateds ends with Jackson Prep beating Parklane 34-14.

Tri-County Academy (5-0) at Madison St. Joseph (2-3)

Tri-County stays undefeated, wins on the road 39-26.

Callaway (4-0) at Canton (1-3)

The Chargers stay undefeated, strike the Canton Tigers 21-12.

Charleston (2-2) at Pelahatchie (0-4)

The Charleston Tigers take care of the chiefs 30-7.

Poplarville (3-1) at Terry (3-1)

Terry’s undefeated run ends as Poplarville beats the Bulldogs 48-6.

Vicksburg (2-2) at Forest Hill (0-4)

Vicksburg downs winless Forest Hill 54-8.

Ridgeland (4-0) at Provine (2-2)

The Titans throttle Provine 62-21.

We [Ridgeland] started off really good and played with a lot of intensity,” stated Titans Head Coach Teddy Dyess after the overwhelming victory. “Then [the Titans] has a little let up, but credit goes to Provine,. They kept fighting and its gets to be a 35-21 game. But, we made the adjustments at halftime, made some stops, and go scored the put the game away.”

Ridgeland will face off against Callaway next Friday.

“Callaway has a really good football team and it will be a big challenge next Friday night. We got them coming [to Ridgeland] and we’re excited to be back home next week,” Dyess added.

Mendenhall (3-1) at Jefferson Davis County (2-2)

Mendenhall increases win-streak to three games, beats Jefferson Davis County 27-7.

Wingfield (0-3) at West Jones (2-1)

Wingfield remains winless, loses at West Jones 32-0.

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