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By Robert Wilson
Photos by Hays Collins and Robert Smith
Madison-Ridgeland Academy is making a habit of scoring a lot of points on Jackson Prep these days.
Defending MAIS Class 6A state champion MRA scored 50 points for the second time in two seasons on Prep in a 50-20 victory Friday night at Prep.
MRA senior wide receiver and Southern Miss commitment Davis Dalton set a Mississippi record with 388 receiving yards on 14 catches and scored three touchdowns and sophomore quarterback John White completed 28 of 40 passes for 521 yards and four TDs.
MRA improved to 5-3 and won its fourth straight game. Prep dropped to 4-3 and had a four-game winning streak snapped.
MRA, which defeated Prep for the fourth consecutive time, scored 50 points in a 50-24 victory last year. It is the most points ever allowed by a Prep team in school history.
. White completed TD passes of 41, 67 and 64 yards to Dalton and 13 yards to senior wide receiver Street Toler in the first half as MRA jumped out to a 27-3 lead. Dalton – a member of the Priority One Bank/Mississippi Scoreboard Metro Jackson Preseason Elite Eleven – caught eight passes for 260 yards in the first half. Davis has now caught 26 passes for 679 yards and nine TDs in the past three games and has caught 56 passes for 1,098 yards and 10 TDs this season.
“Davis really ran some great routes and made some incredible catches,” MRA coach Herbert Davis said.
Said first-year Prep coach Tyler Turner: “Dalton is a great football player and we had trouble covering him tonight.”
MRA’s scoring habits on Prep goes back to the championship game in 2019 when Philip Short set a MAIS passing record with 593 yards in a 49-33 victory to end Prep’s seven-year state championship run.
White, who transferred to MRA from Winona Christian, came into the game ranked No. 8 in the nation with 1,988 yards according to MaxPreps. White, who has been offered by Liberty and Southern Miss, will likely move up after Friday night’s performance.
“John really threw the ball where he was supposed to. It was the best he has all year,” Davis said. “Our offensive line protected well and gave John time. We really executed in the passing game.”
Prep’s only points in the first half was from a 42-yard field by senior kicker Louie Gatlin. Prep junior quarterback Paxton Thompson completed TD passes to senior wide receiver Luke Williams and junior wide receiver Will Upton in the second half. Thompson completed 18 of 32 passes for 306 yards and two TDs. Upton caught five passes for 125 yards.
Turner replaced Mississippi Sports Hall of Famer and former National Football Coach of the Year Ricky Black, who resigned this spring after winning 401 games – second winningest in Mississippi history – in his 40-year career and 263 games and 13 state titles at Prep in 24 seasons. Black was celebrated Friday night and many of his former players came to the event.
“Hats off to Madison-Ridgeland Academy on a well-played football game,” Turner said. “Our guys played hard like they always do and I’m proud of them for that. We just missed some opportunities that could have given us a lot of momentum in the game. We had three dropped picks on drives they score on, stopped them on third down back up and we rough the punter, and we didn’t do a very good job on third down offensively and defensively. We just have to keep working and getting better as a team and get some players back healthy and take what we learned tonight and get better from it.”