By Robert Wilson
Madison-Ridgeland Academy junior wide receiver Davis Dalton had such a good game in his first start Friday night he caught the attention of an NFL Hall of Famer.
Deion “Primetime” Sanders, now the offensive coordinator for Trinity Christian, MRA’s opponent, called Dalton’s performance “spectacular.”
The 6-foot-3, 180-pound Dalton caught six passes for 146 yards and three touchdowns, including the last one, a 10-yard TD from quarterback Zach Beasley with seven seconds to play to tie the game. Landen McGee kicked the extra point to give MRA a 27-26 victory.
For his performance, Dalton has been named the first Mississippi Scoreboard Metro Jackson Football Player of the Week.
MRA lost its top five receivers and star quarterback Phillip Short to graduation this spring. But Dalton and Beasley took up where Short and his receiver left off last year when they led MRA to a 12-2 record and the MAIS Class 6A state championship, ending Prep’s seven-year state title run. Dalton’s six catches were more than he caught all of last year.
“Davis has been ‘the guy’ at receiver all summer,” MRA coach Herbert Davis said. “He showed us the same in the first game.”
Dalton’s first TD catch was a 38-yarder as he went up between two Trinity defensive backs at the 3-yard line, caught the ball, kept his balance and fell into the end zone. Then, he kicked the extra point to give MRA a 7-6 lead in the first quarter. Dalton caught a 34-yard TD with 7:20 to go in the game to pull MRA within 20-13.
But his biggest catch was the last one. On fourth-and-8, Beasley threw a bullet to Dalton in the short corner of the end zone for a 10-yard TD.
Dalton and MRA visit Copiah, 1-0, Friday in the second game of the season.