By Robert Wilson

Sophomore quarterback Trey Petty completed a 18-yard touchdown pass to senior wide receiver Johnathan Lampkin with 24 seconds to play to give Starkville a 35-28 victory over previously undefeated Madison Central Friday night at Starkville in the Class 6A, Region 2 opener for both teams.

Starkville improved to 5-0. Madison Central dropped to 3-1. Starkville won its first five game last season before Madison Central ended the streak with a 15-9 victory at Madison.

Madison Central led 21-7 at halftime before Starkville scored two TDs to tie it at 21-21, the last one on a 4-yard TD run by Petty that was set up a fumbled punt return by Madison Central. Madison Central junior quarterback Vic Sutton connected with junior wide receiver Isaiah Spencer for an 80-yard TD for a 28-21 Madison Central lead with 5:52 to play in the game. Petty completed a 24-yard TD pass to Braylon Burnside to tie up again at 28-28 with 3:27 to play. Starkville got the ball back after a Madison Central punt with 2:38 to play and Petty drove the Yellow Jackets down the field for the winning TD.

Petty had 104 yards on 18 carries and one TD and passed for two TDs. Sutton passed for 164 yards and one TD and Robert Dumas Jr. had 97 yards on 17 carries and one TD.

The loss was the first one at Madison Central for first-year coach Toby Collums, last year’s Priority One Bank/Mississippi Scoreboard Metro Jackson Football Coach of the Year after leading Northwest Rankin to a second-round playoff victory for the first time in school history and one of the biggest turnarounds in Mississippi.

“It was a tale of two halves,” Collums said. “Starkville took it to us in the second half and we didn’t respond.”