Hail Varsity was (sort of) on the scene on Friday night for the Mississippi semifinal matchup between No. 2 Jackson Prep and No. 3 Jackson Academy. It was a great matchup between two rivals as Jackson Academy took a thriller by the score of 28-21. Jackson Academy features Huskers defensive back commitment Lardarius Webb. The game also featured a very fun drumlins halftime performance by Jackson Prep.
Here are my five thoughts on the matchup, which I was able to check out via live stream.
Nice Running Back Battle
The running back for each team was impressive on Friday night. Jackson Prep’s Matt Jones ran hard all evening. He had a pair of touchdowns despite coming into the game bothered by a foot injury. Marcus Harris was sensational for Jackson Academy. He was tough to bring down all game and it was especially tough for one defender to tackle him. He had a huge 75-yard touchdown run late in the game to tie things up.
Hard-Hitting Rivalry Game
If you dropped into this game without knowing much about these two teams, it wouldn’t be long before realizing it was a rivalry game. The action was fierce in this game and there was a lot of big hits too. Things also got chippy in the second half as the game got closer. It was even more personal for Jackson Academy. The team lost the first matchup between the two, 30-10. In a lot of ways, this game is what high school sports is all about. The stakes were high in the game and the emotions reflected that.
Webb is a Stud
It was a unique opportunity to be able to watch Nebraska commit Lardarius Webb from afar in this big game. The first thing that jumped out to me is that he’s a long, fluid athlete. He covers a lot of ground quickly. He also just has a knack for making plays. Webb had a huge interception in the second half to keep his team in the game after a turnover. He also had a nice 40-yard touchdown catch in the game. The future Husker was dominant in the game and it surprised me that Jackson Prep kept throwing his way.
Jackson Prep has had a remarkable run over the last 10 years. The team is a fixture in the state championship game. This is the first time in 10 years that Jackson Prep won’t be one of the teams battling for the state title. Hats off for another good season even if the amazing streak came to an end this year.
Jackson Academy Defense Tightened Up
Led by Webb, the Jackson Academy defense put together a dominant performance, especially in the second half of the game. Jackson Academy only gave up 221 total yards in the game and made Prep earn everything in the game. The team tackled well all game long and forced a pair of interceptions. Jackson Academy also held Prep to 2 for 10 on third down in the game. Jackson Academy made some huge plays on offense to put points on the board but the defense kept the team in the game and fueled that comeback to advance to the state title game.