HomeSportsTHE POST ROUTE - Week 5


A look at Madison County’s games this week

Thursday’s game

Manassas (0-3) at Trinity Christian (2-1)

Player to watch: TCA OL Harrison Vance

Most recent meeting: 2010 – TCA 28, Manassas 12

What to know: TCA is coming off a game in which the Lions scored 64 points. In three games, Manassas hasn’t scored a single point yet. The Lions have tested opposing defenses in the first two games with the option and occasional uses of a hurry-up offense. They opened up the passing playbook last week and showed that’s a viable option any given week.

Common opponents: None

Trivia: In 2011, the documentary “Undefeated,” which chronicled Manassas – an annual loser in football – trying to have a winning season, was released. There’s a brief audio clip in that production with TCA radio broadcaster Dave McCulley’s voice heard giving play-by-play of a matchup between these two programs.

Friday’s games

Milan (4-0, 2-0) at Jackson Central-Merry (1-2, 0-1)

Location: South Side

Player to watch: JCM LB Jayland Eckford

Most recent meeting: 2015 – Milan 55, JCM 14

What to know: JCM is once again challenged to test a high-powered offense as the Bulldogs come to town. The Cougars had their bye week last week, so hopefully any injuries they needed to get healed did so.

Common opponents: Camden – Milan won 62-25; JCM lost 31-14

Trivia: Milan’s point production has gone up every week so far beginning with 28 points in Week 1, then 35, then 42, and 62 last week.

Fayette Aca. (1-3, 0-1) at Jackson Christian (4-0, 0-0)

Player to watch: Jackson Christian OL Ty Smith

Most recent meeting: 2022 – Jackson Chr. 55, Fayette Aca. 14

What to know: The Eagles open region play after getting one of their biggest wins in program history last week. But just as they were challenged by their coaching staff from the week before to not spend any time the following week celebrating a come-from-behind win, Darby Palmer & Co. probably hammered home a similar point after last week’s victory. The Vikings’ passing defense was exposed last week as it gave up more than 300 receiving yards to one player, and the passing game happens to be a strength for the Eagles.

Common opponents: None

Trivia: Jackson Christian’s defense hasn’t allowed a point in six quarters of play.

Ripley (3-1, 2-0) at Liberty (0-4, 0-1)

Player to watch: Liberty RB Codarius Ellis

Most recent meeting: 2020 – Ripley 40, Liberty 0

What to know: The Crusaders will try again to compete and end their losing streak against a tough opponent. Except for a Week 2 hiccup against an undefeated opponent, Ripley has played perfect football. But they have shown signs of not taking care of the ball as well with turnovers early in games. This could be an opening for the Crusaders.

Common opponents: South Side – Ripley won 22-9; Liberty lost 36-0

Trivia: Liberty still hasn’t played a game outside Jackson city limits yet this season.

Hardin Co. (4-0, 1-0) at North Side (2-2, 1-0)

Player to watch: North Side DL James Reed

Most recent meeting: 2022 – Hardin Co. 36, North Side 0

What to know: Both teams opened region play with a big win in the last couple weeks, and a win tonight essentially assures the winner of clinching a berth in the Class 4A playoffs since there are six teams in the region. This will also be Hardin County’s first game this year away from the friendly confines of Savannah. The Indians showed grit in their comeback road win last week, and considering other teams’ situations with youth and injuries, North Side may be the main challenger to Hardin County for that region championship.

Common opponents: None

Trivia: Hardin County has won the last four meetings between these programs.

South Side (2-2, 0-0) at Chester Co. (0-4, 0-0)

Player to watch: South Side QB Layton Robertson

Most recent meeting: 2022 – Chester Co. 45, South Side 13

What to know: South Side is playing its fifth game of the season, but in a way, Chester County comes in looking almost like a team with a ton of questions to answer. The Eagles are winless, but the teams they’ve lost to have a combined record of 11-4, and they’re competitive at least deep into the third quarter in all of them. The Hawks have shown the ability to decrease their opponents’ scoring for the most part. The way they run the ball also shortens the game and keeps the opposing offense off the field, which creates late-game opportunities for wins more times than not.

Common opponents: None

Trivia: Chester County is winless, and South Side has two wins. But the Eagles have scored 107 points in their games. South Side has scored 80.

South Gibson (2-2) at University School of Jackson (3-1)

Player to watch: USJ RB Titus Wilson

Most recent meeting: 2014 – South Gibson 45, USJ 35

What to know: Coming off the field last week, USJ head coach Derrick Pritchard said his team is better than what it showed last week, and this week would be a test of his players’ competitiveness in bouncing back. The Hornets are coming off a bounce back win, but they’re still answering questions after dealing with injuries in key positions including a season-ending injury to its quarterback. The Hornets’ strength has been running the ball, and USJ’s strength is stopping the run.

Common opponents: None

Trivia: With USJ bouncing back from a loss for the first time in the Pritchard era, the Bruins were 7-1 bouncing back from regular season losses in the last four years. In those wins, the average score was 41-12.

Compiled by Brandon Shields

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