Photos By Chris Todd
Story By Robert Wilson
Madison Central lost its four games by a total of 18 points last season, including a 2-pointer to Oxford to end its season in the first round of the Class 6A playoffs.
The Jaguars, led by first-year coach Toby Collums, won a close one to start of the 2021 season.
Madison Central defeated defending Class 5A state champion West Jones 27-21 Friday night at Madison.
It was a successful debut for Collums – the 2020 Priority One Bank/Mississippi Scoreboard Metro Jackson Coach of the Year – who came to Madison after six seasons at Northwest Rankin. Collums earned his award last season because of his big turnaround, going from 3-8 in 2019 to 9-4 last season and won a second-round playoff game for the first time in school history. And he did against one of the top programs in Mississippi. West Jones, under coach Scott Pierson in his 21th year at West Jones, won 13, 13 and 12 games, one state title and one runner-up finish in the past three seasons. Pierson, who has a 78.1 career winning percentage, was denied his 238th career victory and Madison Central ended West Jones’ 10-game winning streak.
Madison Central junior quarterback Vic Sutton, who finished the season at the Jaguars starter, completed 10 of 18 passes for 117 yards and three touchdowns, two to senior tight end Blake Gunter – a member of the Priority One Bank/Mississippi Scoreboard Metro Jackson Elite Eleven Preseason Team – of 14 and 10 yards and one to junior Isaiah Spencer for 38 yards. Senior running back Robert Dumas scored on a 2-yard run for the first of three first-half scores as Madison Central jumped out to a 21-0 lead.
West Jones rallied to close within 21-14 before halftime on TD runs by junior quarterback Marlon Lindsey and senior running back Kendorean Russell. Lindsey – who passed for 229 yards – completed a 14-yard TD pass to Matthew Dixon for a 21-21 tie in the third quarter. Madison Central took a 27-21 lead on the 10-yard TD pass from Sutton to Gunter with 9 minutes, 36 seconds to play. Madison Central kept West Jones from scoring to clinch the victory.
“We got off to a fast start,” Collums said. “West Jones did a good job coming back. Our defense played well and made the big stop at the end. Vic played well and made good plays on his touchdown passes.”