The Sentry

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Football finishes historic season with another championship

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The 2017 Jackson Prep football team put on a spectacular season. They ended 13-0, capped it off with winning the MAIS AAAA D-1 Championship crown and re-wrote a chapter of Mississippi high school football history. While their 2017 campaign ended with fame, the beginning was not Jackson Prep esque. East Rankin scored 14 points in the opening half of their first game, which was more than ERA had scored on Prep’s defense for the past 6 years combined. Many questions lingered about whether or not the defense could step-up, but boy did they ever. In the next 4 contests, Prep only allowed 12 points and as the season rolled on, the defense was Prep’s most consistent and volatile group on the field.

The defense became a serious threat down the stretch, but the offense was sure enough clicking on all cylinders. Jerrion Ealy, Chance Lovertich, Jake Maloney, Reed Peets and many more racked up over 500 points in the regular season and broke numerous school offensive records. All of this is impressive, but it would soon be forgotten if Prep did not stop the ever strengthening patriots out of Parklane and claim their sixth consecutive state title.

November 17, 2017, ended up being a day that the Jackson Prep Patriots will remember for a long time. Their 38-3 win over the Parklane Pioneers Friday, not only gave them another championship win, but it also gave the Patriots their sixth straight state title. Prep’s stretch also set a state of Mississippi record for the most championships in a row, passing South Panola’s championship stint that went from 2003-2007.

The game had a very slow start offensively. After the first, the Patriots led 7-0, and both teams had a hard time getting their offenses on track. However, the game did not stay this way for long. The Patriots were able to stretch their lead out to 25 points by halftime(28-3). The game didn’t get any closer from there. Prep added another 10 points to their lead in the second half, and the rest was history. Prep was led once again by their star running back Jerrion Ealy who tallied 130 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 16 carries. Ealy, however, didn’t bring home this championship alone, he had help from seniors like (QB) Chance Lovertich and (WR) Jake Maloney who wanted to have their last game in a Patriot uniform be a memorable one. Lovertich went 5 – 11 for 131 yards and two touchdowns, and Maloney was responsible for the majority of those stats, seeing as he had three receptions for 102 yards and two receiving touchdowns.

Prep’s offense may have had an impressive outing Friday, but it was the team’s defense that was responsible for bringing home their sixth-straight championship. The Patriots defense was undoubtedly the game’s MVP. This was the fourth time all season that they had held an opposing team to three points or less all game, and the eighth time that they held their opposition to less than 10 points through four quarters. This defense was led by upperclassmen Hayden Hill, Cooper Carroll, and Wilson Mink. All three of which had dominant performances at their respective positions in this game.

Most teams, even championship teams, go through adversity during games throughout the season, but Jackson Prep is not “most teams”. The Patriots finished the year 13-0, they outscored their opponents by a combined 582 – 126, and they didn’t have a game all year decided by less than two scores. Though you may find dominant stats like these within other teams, you will not find many other special all-around groups like the one that coach Ricky Black had this 2017 season. They’re definitely a squad that people will be talking about for years to come.

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Football finishes historic season with another championship