Adding two plus three to get one does not work as a math equation. But it does make for one major match-up when it is second-ranked Madison Prep hosting No. 3 University High for one pivotal District 7-3A football game Thursday night.
“This has been such an unusual year,” Madison Prep coach Landry Williams said. “Nobody has a normal schedule and some teams ,like us, have missed other games.
“It can be hard to know exactly where the kids’ heads are at. But if there was ever a game to get up for, this is it.”
Game time is set for 7 p.m. Thursday at Olympia Stadium for the game that will decide the 7-3A title.
“It should be a good one,” U-High coach Andy Martin said. “There are several big games in Baton Rouge this week and this is definitely one.
“Madison Prep is so skilled and athletic. They are big on both their offensive and defensive lines. They graduated a couple of talented players, but other guys have taken those roles.”
Just as other Class 3A teams around the state will use the game as a gauge for the Chargers (4-0, 3-0) and the Cubs (4-1, 4-0), it will be a barometer for both teams.
A year ago, the Chargers beat the Cubs 33-0. Both teams have changed since then. Running back Derrick Graham of U-High missed that game with an injury, something Williams has reminded his team.
With the graduation of two key college signees, Memphis commitment Tyrell Raby, a defensive back-receiver, and quarterback Zeon Chriss have altered their roles.
Chriss passed for over 3,000 yards last season but sits at 595 yards with 10 touchdowns through five games. Williams likes the adjustments Chriss has made and the way he is learning to use different weapons. Raby is a threat on special teams and both sides of the ball.
Granham has 241 rushing yards and 6 TDs, while Brock Slaton has passed for 541 yards and 7 TDs. DB/WR Jardin Gilbert is a dual threat like MPA’s Raby.
“U-High is the kind of team that is very sound fundamentally and they keep you honest in every phase of the game,” Williams said. “What they do is built around running the ball. We have to be able to handle that.”
Martin adds, “The kids know each other and what is at stake. There was a little jawing back-and-forth in the JV game — all in fun. This is the kind of game you want to play.”
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