A look at Madison County’s games this week

Jackson Central-Merry (1-0)

at South Side (0-1)

Players to watch: JCM RB Jonas Patterson; South Side RB Chuck Stokes

Most recent meeting: 2015 – South Side 21, JCM 20

What to know: The Cougars are coming off a big win, while the Hawks are trying to bounce back after letting a lead slip away in the fourth quarter last week. The Hawks will probably have a better center/quarterback exchange success rate, which could limit the number of opportunities JCM has for big plays defensively.

Trivia: If JCM were to win this, it would be one win away from sweeping its way to the Commissioners’ Cup in the first year it is competing for it.

Liberty (0-1) at North Side (0-1)

Players to watch: Liberty QB Ethan Schweer; North Side lineman Willie Hych

Most recent meeting: 2022 – North Side 39, Liberty 0

What to know: Depth issues on the offensive line were the biggest hindrance to the Crusaders last week, while the Indians had a hard time getting things going on the road and fell by 24 points. The Indians will try to get back to the brand of football they played the week before during a stellar jamboree showing, while Liberty will try to shore up its mistakes and give itself a better shot at competing.

Trivia: The Indians’ win over the Crusaders last year was the only victory for either team, and the 39 points they scored in that win accounted for nearly 70 percent of its total points for the 2022 season (57).

Franklin Grace (1-0) at Trinity Christian (1-0)

Player to watch: TCA WR Braylon Waller

Most recent meeting: 2020 playoffs – TCA 21, Grace 7

What to know: Both teams won last week. Grace’s win was by 30 points over a Freedom Prep team that had a few players missing from its depth chart. TCA’s win was a come-from-behind win over a Class 4A team expected to compete for the playoffs. The Lions’ coaching staff was able to make in-game adjustments that had an immediate impact as TCA turned a 13-point deficit in the first quarter into a tie game by halftime. Then the defense did its job as the offense picked up one more touchdown in the fourth quarter for the win.

Trivia: This is the fourth consecutive year for Grace to play a team from rural West Tennessee. They lost to TCA in the 2020 playoffs’ opening round, and they had a home-and-home series with Humboldt the last two years.

Union City (0-1) at University School of Jackson (1-0)

Player to watch: USJ RB Noah Spencer

Most recent meeting: 2022 – Union City 19, USJ 6

What to know: The Bruins are trying to remain perfect in their second game in a row against a traditional power in Division I schools in northwest Tennessee. The difference between the Tornadoes and last week’s opponent is Union City’s quarterback is a more physical player with more experience. Because of that and the different offense Union City runs, this game will provide new challenges for the USJ defense.

Trivia: There’s an Ensworth connection between these teams. USJ head coach Derrick Pritchard was an assistant at Ensworth the last few years before returning to West Tennessee. Union City opened their season at home last week against Ensworth.

Jackson Christian (1-0)

at Peabody (0-1)

Player to watch: Jackson Christian LB Kai Wyatt

Most recent meeting: 2008 – Jackson Christian 34, Peabody 0

What to know: Jackson Christian appeared last week as if the Eagles will simply continue their successful run of the last couple years through this season as both sides of the ball worked well against a bigger private school. The defense did its job in keeping Northpoint off the scoreboard in the first half, while the offense built a lead early and kept it late. But the coaching staff will probably work hard to ensure the players don’t overlook Peabody, who didn’t look as good as usual in their loss last week.

Trivia: Last week’s victory was the 41st in the tenure of Darby Palmer. He’s the winningest coach in Jackson Christian football history. (Editor’s note: This statement was changed from an error we’d previously published.)

Compiled by Brandon Shields

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