Varsity football team back on track following first loss of the season

An earlier version of this story ran in Issue 3


Madeline Claire Hughes

The Patriots on the field.

Flowood, MS — The Jackson Prep Patriots football team is in week 11 of their season, and they are on the verge of their final game for the 2018 year. 

The second half of Prep’s season started off with serious momentum as they returned home from a two-week road stint in week six to handle the Bobcats of Presbyterian Christian 47-0. PCS had come into the matchup winless and without much drive at all, so it wasn’t much of a contest from the opening kick. The Patriots also played the game without senior running back Jerrion Ealy, who was out for his second straight week with an elbow injury. However, Ealy’s absence gave fellow backs Matt Jones and Angelo Levon an opportunity to receive the bulk of the team’s carries. Jones and Levon combined for 145 yards and three touchdowns in the game on only 10 carries.

In week seven, Prep remained at home to face their toughest opponent up that point in the season as their rival Jackson Academy came to Flowood. Both teams entered the game unbeaten and with a serious drive to them, as this rivalry matchup has proven to be the most energized of each team’s season in years past. However, this matchup was won by the Patriots. The Raiders got on the board first, but Prep was able to take over from there. Although they didn’t break away until the fourth quarter, they were able to control the game ever since the Raiders first score. In his return, Jerrion Ealy took the reigns for Prep as he rushed for 256 yards and three touchdowns in the Patriots 35-13 win.

Following their biggest win of the season, Prep finished the final week of their three week home stint with a win over the Oak Forest Yellow Jackets. The Yellow Jackets came into the game with only one loss and a promising roster; however, the firepower of Prep was too much for them to handle. The Patriots won 42-7 and moved to 8-0 on the season.

Prep had as much confidence as any team in the state at this point, but that was not the case following their matchup with unbeaten Madison Ridgeland Academy. MRA proved that this was their year in their home face-off with their counterpart Patriots as they manhandled them 42-21. Prep seemed overwhelmed and outmatched in the game, and their large number of unsuccessful drives on the offensive end left their defense on the field for far too many times. The Patriot secondary was seemingly tested by the deep ball on every drive, and multiple times they ended up on the losing end as MRA quarterback Philip Short put on a show. Short finished the game with 308 passing yards and four touchdowns while his running back Cody Swanson added another 132 yards on the ground to balance the offensive attack. Prep also lost senior Adam Norsworthy in the game to a knee injury, and he is expected to be out for the remainder of the season.

Friday, Prep was able to bounce back, however, as they defeated New Hope at home 56-7. The game was a blowout from the beginning, and the win was a statement that the Patriots needed to make in order to get back on track as the season winds down. Prep will close out the regular season Friday as they will travel to McComb to take on Parklane Academy.