How Parker Puckett led Jackson Prep back to MAIS football 6A state championship game

On November 10, 2023, Jackson Prep secured a critical victory by defeating Madison-Ridgeland Academy (MRA) 28-25 during the semifinal round of the MAIS 6A playoffs at MRA stadium in Madison, Mississippi. Jackson Prep’s thrilling win set the stage for a rematch with Hartfield Academy in the upcoming MAIS state championship game. The victory was secured with a game-changing quarterback draw by Parker Puckett, propelling the Patriots to their second consecutive title match.

This monumental win marks Puckett’s second year as Jackson Prep’s starting quarterback, with the Patriots demonstrating resilience and determination, outmaneuvering the MRA Patriots. Jackson Prep demonstrated its adaptability, resulting in a captivating and hard-fought contest, showcasing the team’s unyielding spirit while navigating through a tough and demanding matchup against MRA.

Jackson Prep's Major Quin (5) points at the end field after a play during the game against the Madison-Ridgeland Academy Patriots at MRA's stadium in Madison, Miss., on Friday, Nov. 10, 2023.

Jackson Prep’s Major Quin (5) points at the end field after a play during the game against the Madison-Ridgeland Academy Patriots at MRA’s stadium in Madison, Miss., on Friday, Nov. 10, 2023.

“MRA surprised Jackson Prep with an onside kick early in the fourth quarter but our team rallied and orchestrated a jaw-dropping 60-yard drive, culminating in the final game-winning score,” said Jackson Prep Coach Doug Goodwin, highlighting the unrelenting determination exhibited by the Patriots on the battlefield that evening. Goodwin’s sentiments echoed the passion and vigor displayed by the entire team.

Friday night’s triumph against a formidable opponent emphasised Jackson Prep’s unwavering spirit and dedication, setting the stage for an unforgettable showdown with Hartfield Academy for the MAIS state championship title. As the clock winds down to the championship game, the Patriots stand ready to unleash their prowess and resilience on the grand stage, aiming to etch their names in the annals of history once again.

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“We picked each other up,” Puckett said. “Last game, we weren’t doing that. Tonight, the offense picked the defense up, and the defense picked the offense up when the offense couldn’t score. It was a great team effort.”

“Man, I’m really proud of our players,” Goodwin said. “It was a dog fight, you know, MRA’s got a really good football team and it was back and forth all night. I’m just proud of our guys for hanging in there and winning the game.”

“Puckett had a 40-yard rushing touchdown on the first play after an interception by Jackson Prep’s Micah Stallworth,” Goodwin praised. “I thought he played very well, especially on the ground. We didn’t turn the ball over on offense and I thought he did a really good job.”

Michael Chavez covers high school sports, among others, for the Clarion-Ledger. Email him at [email protected] or reach out to him on X, formerly Twitter @MikeSChavez.

This article originally appeared on Mississippi Clarion Ledger: MHSAA football playoffs: Jackson Prep beats MRA in MAIS semifinals


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