Football Team Makes History with Fourth Straight Title

From Issue 4

This year in Jackson Prep football was another great year to say the least. The Patriots went 13-0 on the season, and completed a “4 peat.” The patriots dominated almost every game, if not every game they played this year. At first, there was a lot of uncertainty heading into the year. Last year’s senior class was full of starters and major contributors. Because so many seniors were leaving, many new players had to step up and fill major roles for the team this year.

However, the future is definitely bright for the football team.  Freshman running back Jerrion Ealy is returning and has 3 years left to compete in high school athletics. This year he had 106 carries for 896 yards and 12 touchdowns. Junior running back Jacob Crawley will also be returning for his senior year. Crawley had 172 carries on the year for a total of 1432 yards and 23 touchdowns. Crawley averaged 8.3 yards per carry while Ealy averaged 8.5 yards per carry. With both backs returning next year, look for no drop off in the Patriots rushing attack.

Also returning on the offensive side of the ball is Quarterback Chance Lovertich. Lovertich transferred from Northwest Rankin to Prep this year. On the year, Chance was 64 for 99 with 1223 yards and 15 touchdowns throwing the ball. He also rushed the ball 47 times for 174 yards and 7 touchdowns. Offensive lineman Noah Sasser and Barrett Bufkin are also returning for their senior year to anchor the offensive line.

On defense, the Patriots are losing senior defensive backs Kaleb Lovertich, Worth Eskrigge, and Graham Eklund. However, junior defensive backs Jake Newsome and Tate Fowler will be back for their senior year.  Among the Linebackers Prep is losing this year are Biggs Henry, Adam Crawford, and Vann Crawford. Vann Crawford led the team in tackles with 107 total tackles on the year. Junior linebacker JoJo Pound is returning for his senior season and is going to step up and be a leader.

The defensive line is losing seniors Sam Mosley, John Keeler, John Wooley, and Healy Vise. Junior Brock Loposer and Sophomore Knox Loposer will be among the defensive lineman next year. Defensive end Chris Puckett is coming off an ACL injury, but his recovery and rehab has been promising so far.

Prep finished the regular season with a 48-0 victory over East Rankin. With the regular season complete the Patriots had a bye week and began preparing for the semifinal game against Presbyterian Christian School. Prep defeated PCS with a score of 47-3. Graham Eklund made an incredible one-handed catch to highlight the patriots victory.

The Championship game was on Friday, November 20 at 6:30 against MRA at Mississippi College. Prep played for their 4th straight MAIS AAAA State Championship. J.C. Pride, Vann Crawford, Kaleb Lovertich, and Graham Eklund were the captains of the game. The Patriots dominated this game from start to finish. Freshman running back Jerrion Ealy played the best game of his career so far. Ealy had 113 yards receiving, 88 yards rushing, and 3 total touchdowns. Jacob Crawley had 114 yards rushing and 2 touchdowns. Sophomore tight end Nik Hogan caught a 60 yard touchdown pass from Chance Lovertich. The patriots defeated MRA 51-13 in crushing victory.

At the end of every football season, the team does an awards banquet to give out awards and reflect on the football season. This year, the Most Valuable Player was Graham Eklund. Eklund had 86 tackles, 7 interceptions, and 7 touchdowns on the year. Senior Worth Eskrigge won the best defensive back award. Eskrigge totaled  91 tackles and 2 interceptions for the season. Kaleb Lovertich was awarded for being the best receiver on the team. Lovertich finished the season with 11 receptions for 218 yards and 2 touchdowns. Adam Crawford was awarded for being the best linebacker, and his brother Vann was awarded for being the defensive MVP.

Running backs Jacob Crawley and Jerrion Ealy were also recognized for their great seasons. Ealy was awarded for being the best offensive back, and Crawley was awarded for being the offensive MVP. Taylor Wallace won the Special Teams Award. Wallace averaged 43.9 yards a punt, which is the prep record. Senior offensive lineman J.C. Pride and Spencer Sasser were both awarded with the best offensive lineman awards. On the defensive line, seniors Healy Vise and John Wooley were both recognized for the being the best defensive lineman. John Keeler, Chance Lovertich,  Noah Sasser, and Tate Fowler were all given the Impact Award.

This year, the Jackson Prep football team was nothing short of outstanding. On defense, Prep allowed a solid 10.3 points allowed per game. On offense, the patriots averaged 41.3 points per game.  With many key players returning, expect for the Patriots to compete for their 5th straight State Championship.