6A North Half Preview: Madison Central vs. Horn Lake
Horn Lake offensive players look to the sideline
for a playcall during Friday night's win over Starkville.
Photo by John Macon Gillespie
We’re set for North Half in Class 6A, and Friday cannot come soon enough. In the meantime, let's breakdown what you’re going to see on the field in Horn Lake on Friday. Madison Central is coming off of a 27-10 win over Northwest Rankin, while Horn Lake dominated Starkville at home 35-14.
Players to watch:
QB Jimmy Holiday: Holiday has been the engine that makes Madison Central go in these playoffs. Holiday is a true dual threat who has home run ability with his legs, but is also capable of making you pay deep with his arm. Holiday is going to present a much different look for the Horn Lake defense than Luke Altmyer did last Friday night. Holiday has thrown for 1,429 yards and has rushed for 1,408 yards. He has 33 total touchdowns.
RB Duke Arnold: Madison Central is going to run a lot of read option on offense, and often when Jimmy Holiday doesn't have the ball, Arnold will get the ball. Arnold has rushed for 964 yards and 11 touchdowns on the season. His speed can also be an extremely valuable asset on special teams. Arnold is going to need to have a nice night in order to open up some space for Jimmy Holiday and the rest of the offense to operate against this quick Horn Lake defense.
WR Myles Hopson: Hopson is a standout on the Madison Central roster, and he's going to be a deep threat on Friday. He has 488 yards and eight touchdowns on the season receiving. Hopson is going to have his hands full with the big, physical corners from Horn Lake. In what promises to be a hard fought defensive battle, his presence could provide a big play to set these teams apart.
LB Nakobe Dean (Horn Lake): The Mr. Elite Finalist has done it all this season, and you will see him all over the field on Friday. Dean will be in the middle of the Eagle defense, but you will probably also see him some on offense. Dean has run for nine touchdowns on the season and is used as a red zone rushing threat. Defensively, he’s going to line up in multiple spots. It will be important for Jimmy Holiday to locate Dean before every play as he could be on the edge, or he could line up in the middle of the defense.
QB Raydarious Jones (Horn Lake): Jones is going to be the man at the helm of a dangerous Horn Lake offense. Jones is also a true dual threat option at the quarterback position, and has run for 999 yards on the season while throwing for 1,373 yards. Jones has 25 total touchdowns on the year. Madison Central’s defense is flying under the radar in this matchup, but they have only given up 11.2 points per game this season.
RB Patrick Gilliam (Horn Lake): Gilliam is the leading rusher for Horn Lake with 1,012 yards on the season to go with 11 touchdowns. Gilliam is the between the tackles runner for Horn Lake, and has had great success averaging 5.4 yards per carry. Much like Duke Arnold, Gilliam will need to have success between the tackles in order to open up space for QB Raydarious Jones.
Matchup to watch:
Madison Central Defense vs Horn Lake Offense:
While most of the eyes will be on the other side of the football, this is an equally intriguing matchup. The Jaguar defense has only allowed 11.2 points per game this season, and while Horn Lake has been great offensively, they have had some issues with turnovers. The Eagles have turned the ball over 13 times in 13 games this season, including nine fumbles. While our predictions will come later this week, I believe this side of the ball could decide who will represent the North half of 6A in Hattiesburg.