Photo provided by Lonnie Kees

By Robert Wilson

Rayf Vinson watched from the sidelines with a knee injury as his Madison-Ridgeland Academy teammates won the MAIS Class 6A state championship over Jackson Prep, ending Prep’s seven-year state title run.

Vinson had a much different view in this year’s 6A state title game against Jackson Academy Saturday afternoon.

The senior running back-safety gained 197 yards on 21 carries and scored three touchdowns to lead MRA to a 41-14 victory for its second straight state title and 19th consecutive victory at Mississippi Veterans Memorial Stadium in Jackson.

The MAIS Class 6A State Football Championship on Saturday, November 21, 2020, at Mississippi Veterans Memorial Stadium in Jackson, Miss. – Photo by Chris Todd

The 6-foot-1, 190-pound Vinson, who has verbally committed to Navy, also caught two passes for 22 yards and had six tackles, five solos, and broke up two passes.

For his outstanding performance in a championship game, Vinson has been named the Junction Deli/Mississippi Scoreboard Metro Jackson Football Player of the Week.

Vinson scored on TD runs of 22, 15 and 1 yards for MRA, which has won 31 of out of the last 32 games against MAIS competition. 

“Rayf was a great leader for us this year,” MRA coach Herbert Davis said. “He worked unbelievably hard coming off his injury a year ago. He was definitely our do it all Swiss Army knife guy. He did whatever you asked him.” 

Vinson was injured in the seventh game of the season against Briarcrest, Tenn., as a junior and missed the remaining seven games, including the title game against Prep. But Vinson didn’t miss a game this season. He finished with 650 rushing yards on 93 carries, a 7.0-yard average, and 18 TDs and caught 24 passes for 320 yards and three TDs. Vinson had 54 tackles and five sacks.