The End Zone: Jackson Prep avoids late comeback scare, holds on to beat rivals JA

Published: Sep. 8, 2023 at 11:14 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Jackson Prep avoids a fourth-quarter comeback from rivals Jackson Academy to beat the Raiders at the Brickyard in The End Zone’s Game of the Week.

Click here to view scores across Central Mississippi.

JA vs. Jackson Prep

One of the metro’s biggest rivalries lived up to its expectations Friday night.

It was a defensive slugfest in the Brickyard of Jackson Academy as the Raiders and the Patriots met for the 58th time in their history.

Nothing was going for either team offensively for the majority of the game, with Jackson Prep leading just 3-0 at halftime in an unfamiliar score in modern football.

Patriots running back Parker Puckett decided to take matters into his own hands to score the first touchdown of the game in the third quarter with a two-yard plunge across the goal line.

Shortly after, Jackson Prep took a commanding 17-0 lead over the Raiders with a 61-yard score from Major Quin. However, the Raiders did not back down.

JA all but out of the game were able to put their best offensive drive of the game together with around four minutes left in the fourth quarter, capping off the scoring drive with a two-yard pass from DJ Watkins to AJ Parker to narrow the Patriots’ lead 17-7.

In the ensuing onside kick, the Raiders miraculously recovered the ball with a comeback in sight for JA.

The Raiders were able to capitalize by converting a field goal from close range. But after forcing a Patriots three-and-out, JA’s offense couldn’t get in the end zone to force overtime as the Patriots avoided a late comeback and escaped the Brickyard with a 17-10 victory.

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