The Grenada Chargers and Kirk Academy Raiders take to the road Friday night for key high school football action.
Grenada High School makes the long trek down Interstate 55 to face perennial Class 6A opponent Madison Central.
Grenada High School is 4-1 on the season after following last week’s 35-6 region-opening loss at Tupelo last week. Madison Central is 3-1 on the season, following a 35-28 road loss at Starkville.
“Madison is your typical Madison Central team,” Grenada High School head coach Ashley Kuhn said. “They are very big, strong and athletic football team that could cause us some problems on both sides of the football.”
The Jaguars are under the direction of first-year head coach Toby Collums, who came over from Northwest Rankin at the end of last season.
Senior Robert Dumas Jr., leads the rushing attack with 437 yards on 62 carries and eight touchdowns. Vic Sutton, a 6-foot-3, 200-pound junior quarterback is 29-of-56 for 470 yards and four touchdowns. Isaiah Spencer, a 6-foot-1, 179-pound, senior has 13 catches for 231 yards and two touchdowns.
Grenada continues to have its problems against the pass allowing 10 touchdowns through five games this season. The Chargers have been solid against the run led by senior Jalon Townes, who is averaging 10 tackles a game in the five games of the 2021 season. Dtraveion Parker is just behind the tackle led at nine per contest.
The offensive story for the Chargers has been senior tailback Joe Moss, who has 1,072 yards rushing the season with eight touchdowns.
Friday’s contest is the first between the two schools since 2010 when the Jaguars won a 48-12 decision. Grenada’s lone in the series came in 2003 when Grenada won a 15-13 decision. The Jaguars lead the all-time series 10-1.
Kirk Academy at Indianola Academy
According to the Mississippi High School Football History web site, Kirk and Indianola Academy have met a total of 33 times. Indianola has won 24 of those games and has a 10-game win streak against the Raiders dating back to 2008. The Colonels from Indianola won the last game played between the two teams back in 2018, downing the Raiders 33-7. Kirk last won a game in the series back in 2008, losing a 42-7 decision to the Raiders at Indianola.
Both teams enter Friday’s contest with identical 4-2 marks overall. The Colonels are coming in after a big 18-16 road win at Carroll Academy while Kirk lost a 24-13 decision to division rival Oak Hill at West Point.
Longtime Kirk fans recognize the familiar face of Tommy Nester on the IA sideline. The West Point native is in his 16th season leading the Colonels. His teams have a combined mark of 132-60 at Indianola. Prior to that, Nester had seven years at Carroll for a 56-26 record. His first job was head coach at Oak Hill, where he was 21-5 in two seasons.
On the heels of the win at Carroll, Nester has to prepare his team for a much-improved Kirk team and deal with the distractions of Homecoming.
“It was a big win for us,” Nester said. “The question is can we get ready to play a good Kirk team and worry about the distraction surrounding Homecoming.”
Indianola is led by Leland Selby, a 5-foot-10, 175-pound, senior tailback. He is joined in the backfield two-year starter Colt Ferrell, a 6-foot, 210-pound, senior at quarterback.
Defensively, Brayden Hemble, a 6-foot-3, 210-pound, senior mans a linebacker position along with Connor Roncali, a 5-foot-11, 190-pound junior.
Second-year Kirk coach Mike Beagle said it will once again be a test for his team when they face the Colonels Friday night.
“They are physical up front on both sides, they have two good running backs, their quarterback is a good operator of what they do offensively and they don’t beat themselves,” he concluded. “We have to regroup and have some leadership within to get ourselves going again.”
Kickoff is at 7 p.m.