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August 29, 2011

Starkville holds off Madison Central

STARKVILLE, Miss., - Both Madison Central and Starkville suffered opening week losses and both were looking to get back on track in week two.

Of course no matter how small the margin of victory, one team would return home with their heads held high while the other is still left searching for answers.

A third quarter field goal combined with a second half shutout on defense was just enough for the Yellow Jackets to down Madison Central 16-14 Friday night to get into the win column for the first time this season.

"It was such an embarrassing performance last week (against Noxubee County) that I couldn't tell you how upset we were," said Starkville head coach Jamie Mitchell. "But that defense played their tails off tonight."

Starkville totaled 242 yards on the night leading a balanced attack of 134 yards through the air and another 108 on the ground.

The Yellow Jackets were led by junior quarterback Gabe Myles, who totaled 165 yards on the night. Myles completed 8-of-15 passing for 134 yards as well as two rushing scores.

"He's a winner," Mitchell said of Myles. "He extended some plays for us with his legs in some critical situations tonight."

Preston Baker also came through for Starkville out of the backfield. Baker led the team with 41 yards on the 11 carries and also caught five passes for 71 yards.

The Yellow Jackets jumped on the board right from the start taking their opening drive 69 yards in a dozen plays. Myles capped off the drive with a 1-yard quarterback sneak followed up by a Charlie Henderson extra point for the early 7-0 lead.

Starkville extended its advantage three plays into the second quarter as Myles again scored, this time from 12-yard scramble to the left to go up 13-0.

The Jaguars would enter the scoring column following a Starkville turnover. Facing 3rd-and-6 from midfield, Madison Central opted with a reverse and sophomore Doug Ball eluded defenders behind the line of scrimmage before cutting up the right sideline for a 52-yard scurry. Chase Blossman provided the PAT pulling the score within 13-7.

The Jaguars would take the lead just before the half. With 1:50 remaining on the clock, Drew Rowell plowed in on a 1-yard quarterback sneak. Blossman booted the point after putting Madison Central up 14-13.

The Yellow Jackets made one final effort to get points before intermission. Myles completed a 37-yard pass to Stanley Higgins to set up a 32-yard field goal try but Henderson's kick sailed wide left as the buzzer sounded.

But Henderson was able to make up for the miss on the first possession of the second half. Starkville orchestrated a 14-play drive out of the locker room allowing Henderson to kick a 24-yarder to be the eventual game winner.

The Jaguars finished the game with 292 yards of offense with 217 coming via the ground game helped paved by Mississippi State center commitment Devon Desper.

"I thought Starkville really deserved to win the football game because they did a really solid job of not letting us get in any rhythm with our offense," said Madison Central head coach Bobby Hall.

Brandon Moore led the Jaguar rushing efforts with 13 totes for 87 yards.

Rowell completed 8-of-22 passing for 75 yards while Keith Williams was the leading receiver with two grabs for 25 yards.

Madison Central will search for its first win of the campaign traveling to Petal on Friday while the Yellow Jackets remain home to host Tupelo.


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