By Robert Wilson
Jake Norris had played quarterback for only six quarters – two quarters each in three junior varsity games – before Madison Central starting quarterback Vic Sutton went down with a season-ending knee injury in the first quarter three weeks ago against Oxford.
The 6-foot-2, 205-pound Norris helped Madison Central defeat Oxford and Starkville, then topped it off last week when he led the Jaguars to the MSHAA Class 6A state championship.
Norris completed 5 of 9 passes for 124 yards and one touchdown and ran 11 times for 51 yards and scored the winning TD in a 24-17 victory over Brandon for Madison Central’s first state title since 1999 at Southern Miss’ M.M. Roberts Stadium in Hattiesburg.
For his outstanding performance, Norris has been named the Junction Deli/Mississippi Scoreboard Metro Jackson Football Player of the Week.
Norris completed a 79-yard TD pass to junior Isaiah Spencer for a 17-10 lead with 8 minutes, 14 seconds to play in the third quarter. Then he drove the Jaguars 52 yards on seven plays and scored the winning TD on a 2-yard run around the left end with 3:41 to play.
“It was like a Hallmark movie,” first-year Madison Central coach Toby Collums said. “Jake came in and did a great job playing quarterback and was the MVP of the championship game. He has mental toughness and is a hard-nosed kid. Jake loves to compete.”
Norris had played tight end along with senior tight end and Tulane commitment Blake Gunter all season before replacing Sutton against Oxford. Norris completed 6 of 9 passes for 119 yards and one TD and ran for one TD to help Madison Central to a 31-21 quarterfinal victory. He completed 5 of 9 passes for 43 yards and one TD and ran for 38 yards in a 34-13 victory over Starkville in the semifinals.
Norris caught eight passes for 106 yards and one TD this season for 13-1 Madison Central.