Photos by Chris Todd
Story by Robert Wilson
MADISON — Madison-Ridgeland Academy continued its recent dominance of Jackson Prep with a 50-24 victory over Prep Friday night at MRA.
Senior Zach Beasley passed for 258 yards and two touchdowns to junior Davis Dalton and junior Tylor Latham ran for 157 yards and two TDs to lead MRA to its third consecutive win over Prep and for the fourth time in the past five meetings in a rematch of last year’s MAIS Class 6A state championship game.
MRA, which defeated Prep 48-33 to break Prep’s seven-year state title streak last season, improved to 9-0 and won its 15th straight game, 32 of the last 35 and 27 of the last 28 against MAIS competition. The only MAIS loss in that streak was to Prep in the 2018 state championship game.
MRA’s win Friday night over Prep also denied Prep coach Ricky Black, the second winningest high school football coach in Mississippi history, his 400th career victory. Prep, playing without star running back Matt Jones (out with a foot injury), dropped to 5-2.
Beasley, a transfer from Northwest Rankin, completed 15 of 19 passes and hit Dalton on TD passes of 34 and 31 yards to lead MRA to a 34-10 lead at halftime. Dalton caught five passes for 104 yards. Latham scored on a 70-yard run for a 7-7 tie with 6 minutes, 57 seconds to play in the first quarter after Prep had taken a 7-0 lead on its first possession. Latham also scored on a 9-yard run in the second quarter. MRA had 482 total yards, 224 rushing and 258 passing.
It was the second straight game MRA had scored at least 48 points against Prep. MRA quarterback Philip Short passed for a Mississippi record 593 yards and five touchdowns and had four receivers with at least 100 yards in the championship game last season.
MRA coach Herbert Davis won his 205th career game and looks on his way to a fifth state title. He won two at Brookhaven Academy, one at Pillow and one at MRA.
After MRA pulled away to a 41-10 lead in the third quarter, Prep rallied when Riley Maddox passed for two TDs, 56 yards to Jeffrey Ince and 16 yards to Thaxton Burch, to close the gap to 41-24 with 5:29 to play in the third quarter.
But MRA had a safety and a 4-yard TD run by Rayf Vinson for a 50-24 lead with 6:21 to play.