Game Preview: (6-3) Madison Central @ (5-4) Oxford Chargers


Ross Shows, podcast producer, sports writer

Last week’s MVP: LB Alex Sanford (10 tackles, 5 sacks, 1 FF, 2 QB hurries)


Thursday night, in the final game of the regular season, the Chargers are set to host the Madison Central Jaguars for a do or die matchup. This matchup will decide the fate of this Charger team: with an Oxford win they could keep their playoff hopes alive, but with a loss it will be the end of their season. Madison Central comes into town holding a 6-3 overall record and a 4-2 division record. Last week, the Jaguars secured a blowout win against the winless Murrah Mustangs, winning 42-0. Oxford heads into the matchup with a 5-4 overall record and a 3-3 division record. The Chargers won their game last week in dominating fashion against Grenada, 30-7. Last year, the Jaguars were able to win both matchups over the Chargers, also eliminating them from Round 2 of the 6A playoffs.


Players to Watch:


Madison Central Senior QB Vic Sutton: Sutton is my obvious choice for a player to watch on Madison Central, and for good reason.  A 3-star quarterback, Louisiana Tech commit, and the number 22 player in the state of Mississippi, Sutton has racked up 1,086 yards and 9 touchdowns through the air this season. Sutton is a threat with both his arm and his legs and although the stats may not show it, he has the ability to break outside the pocket and be a difficult dual threat quarterback to contain, although he primarily will sit in the pocket and throw the football. I fully expect to see a two quarterback system for the Jaguars, as Sutton will most likely split snaps with QB/TE Jake Norris.


Oxford Senior LB Alex Sanford: Sanford is playing the best football of his career right now, and it couldn’t come at a better time. The 3- star Arkansas commit now leads the team in both tackles for loss and total tackles, with 15 tackles for loss and 87 total tackles. Last week, Sanford racked in a career high 5 sacks against Grenada. Putting pressure on either one of these quarterbacks will be huge for the Chargers defense, but especially pressuring Sutton who struggles often with turnovers, so providing pressure could force him into making more mistakes. Big #0 is an obvious player to watch and you will see why tonight.


Madison Central Senior ATH Jake Norris: Norris is a physical specimen for Madison Central that will play all around the field on offense. He primarily will take snaps at tight end and quarterback. Standing at 6 ‘3 and weighing 232 lbs, Norris presents a matchup problem for any team lining up defensively, and Norris’ usage could cause problems for the Oxford defense. He leads the team with 13 touchdowns. Norris, primarily, will be more of a threat in the run game. As of late, we have seen more and more of his abilities to throw the ball. But like I said earlier, I expect Norris and Sutton to both take snaps at quarterback Thursday night. 


Oxford Senior QB Mack Howard: Howard, a 3-star quarterback, Utah commit, and a member of the 2022 Clarion Ledger Dandy Dozen has had a solid senior season at Oxford High School after spending the previous season at Heritage Academy. Howard had a little over 1,000 passing yards and 14 passing touchdowns in just 8 games this season. The Chargers are in desperate need to keep the passing game at a high level and make sure they can air the ball out in space to their playmakers. Howard’s leadership and level of play will have a major impact on the game for the Chargers.


Madison Central LB/DL Ephram Lake Senior: Standing at just 6’0, 200 pounds, Lake is primarily a linebacker who often lines up on the line. He is undersized for an interior defensive lineman. While undersized, Lake uses his speed and his jump off the snap to beat out offensive linemen. So far on the season, Lake has 35 tackles, 7 tackles for loss, and 5 QB hurries. Luckily for Oxford, they have fared much better against defensive lines that are on the smaller side.


Oxford Senior RB Roman Gregory: Gregory is an obvious choice, there’s not much else to say about the star running back. Anytime the Chargers are on the gridiron, Gregory is the man to keep your eyes on. 




Who wants it more: Last year, Oxford dropped both games to the Jaguars. These Chargers experienced a gut-wrenching loss that ended their season in round 2 of the playoffs. Both teams have playoff implications and it will be an emotional matchup,

but it comes down to the players that want the game more. Whoever puts everything out there on the field will be the ones that are going to win it for their team.




It all comes down to this. A chance to keep their season alive and an opportunity of a lifetime. There’s no doubt in my mind that the Chargers are more motivated than ever and for good reason.The best division in all of Mississippi 6A football and the Chargers have a chance to claim a playoff spot. I feel the Jaguars defense will be troubled by the Roman Gregory and the Charger run game, and Mack Howard will find his groove and fling the ball out all around. The Chargers will start fast out on defense and take control quickly. Despite this, Madison Central is one of the best teams in the state for a reason. They will keep it tight and it will be a neck and neck battle to the end. But, the Chargers will win late and claim a playoff spot. Chargers, 27-25.