A look at Madison County’s games this week
Division II-A West
Jackson Christian (9-0, 4-0) at TCA (7-2, 4-0)
Players to watch: Jackson Christian WR Jay’Len Mosley; TCA RB Lekhy Thompkins
Most recent meeting: 2022 – Jackson Christian 49, TCA 42
What to know: This one is simple. The winner is the region champion. The loser is the runner-up. Jackson Christian has had the most consistent team on both sides of the ball in games one through nine, while TCA has consistently shown improvement in their first-year coach’s style of play as the season has progressed. So it will be a matchup of which team can execute its game plan better.
Common opponents: USJ and the rest of Division II-A West – Jackson Christian beat USJ 41-0; TCA lost to USJ 28-19. They both went unbeaten in region play. Jackson Christian outscored them 201-38. TCA outscored them 211-90.
Trivia: Jackson Christian’s last region championship was in 2005. TCA’s most recent region championship was in 2014.
Liberty (0-9, 0-6) at Bolivar (5-4, 2-4)
Player to watch: Liberty LB Keenen Robinson
Most recent meeting: 2022 – Bolivar 51, Liberty 33
What to know: The Crusaders are down to their last chance in 2023 to end their losing streak, which has lasted on the field since 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic began. They have the athletes to do it. They’ve got plenty of speed. Bolivar has that as well, and the Tigers have the experience of having won a few games already against teams that have shown plenty of competitiveness.
Common opponents: South Side and the rest of Region 7-3A – Bolivar beat South Side 24-21. Liberty lost to South Side 36-0. Bolivar beat McNairy Central and Scotts Hill, while Liberty lost to everyone in the region.
Trivia: This game was the one in which Liberty had its highest point total last year.
Chester Co. (2-7, 1-3) at North Side (4-5, 2-2)
Player to watch: North Side DL James Reed
Most recent meeting: 2020 – North Side 69, Chester Co. 54
What to know: North Side needs to win if it doesn’t want to leave its playoff hopes in someone else’s hands. Both of these teams have enough athletes on their roster and on both sides of the ball that they should both have better records than what they have. But North Side is in the first season with its coach, and Chester County is one season ahead of that. The Indians showed signs of an ability to compete with the better teams in the region in recent weeks even in losses. That version of the team needs to be consistently present this week to assure itself of a victory.
Common opponents: The rest of Region 6-4A. They both beat South Side (Chester Co. 27-0 and North Side 23-20). North Side came back to beat Lexington, while Chester County lost to them by a field goal.
Trivia: While this is the first time in three years for the Indians and Eagles to meet, they did play each other six years in a row in the 2010s, including once in the playoffs.
South Side (0-4, 2-7) at South Gibson (7-2, 3-1)
Player to watch: South Side RB Chuck Stokes
Most recent meeting: 2016 – South Gibson 32, South Side 19
What to know: The Hawks have their final shot for a victory, which is something they haven’t enjoyed since Week 3. They are in a situation where they have nothing to lose, and South Gibson already knows it will be playing at home next week in the first round of the playoffs. So there could be an opportunity for an upset in this situation. But the Hawks have got to fight for that opportunity.
Common opponents: The rest of Region 6-4A. They both lost to Hardin County (South Gibson 48-18 and South Side 40-13) The Hornets beat the other three teams by a combined score of 96-50. South Side lost to those three 85-34.
Trivia: The 2016 season was the last time South Side failed to make the playoffs, which is also the last time they played South Gibson.
JCM (1-8, 0-6) at Gibson Co. (1-8, 0-6)
Player to watch: JCM DL Keshun Clark
Most recent meeting: None
What to know: The Cougars started their season with a victory. They’d like to end their season with another one. They and the Pioneers have identical records, so both teams are looking to finish the season with a victory. Gibson County has become a solid team that’s competed well against some talented teams, but JCM’s defensive line has caused a few opposing offensive coordinators to lose sleep trying to figure out how to get past the Cougars’ big defensive linemen.
Common opponents: The rest of Region 6-2A. JCM lost to them by a combined score of 224-62. Gibson County lost to them 276-100.
Trivia: In the Cougars’ six region losses, they’ve had a chance to come from behind and win in the second half of four of those games.
Division II-AA West
USJ (6-3, 3-1) at Lausanne (7-1, 4-0)
Player to watch: USJ WR Alex Wallace
Most recent meeting: 2018 – Lausanne 41-14
What to know: If comparing scores mattered, Lausanne beat Northpoint Christian by six last week, and USJ lost to Northpoint about a month ago by 11 when it wasn’t playing its best ball. This could suggest the Bruins have a better shot at winning this game than most outside their locker room think they have. Stranger things have happened this year. But if the Bruins compete to the level they’ve been taught ever since their coach got on campus last winter and limit their mistakes, they could force a log jam at the top of the region standings.
Common opponents: The rest of Division II-AA West. Lausanne beat Northpoint Christian 27-21. USJ lost to Northpoint 21-10. Lausanne beat the other three teams by a combined score of 142-15. USJ beat them 124-28.
Trivia: USJ has extended its streak of now 16 consecutive seasons the Bruins have made it to the postseason.
Compiled by Brandon Shields