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Jackson Academy blanks Heritage Academy


Cain Madden Special to the Dispatch



Payne Kellum rushed for 102 yards and Michael Martin rushed for three touchdowns Friday to lead the Jackson Academy football team to a 33-0 victory against Heritage Academy in a Mississippi Association of Independent Schools Class AAA, District 1 game. 


Martin scored on a 1-yard run and on a 14-yard run in the first quarter. He added a 5-yard touchdown run in the second quarter as Jackson Academy improved to 7-1 and 3-0 in the district. 


The Raiders rushed for 269 yards on 45 carries to hand Heritage Academy (3-5, 1-3) its fifth consecutive loss. 


"It''s like we are waiting for something good to happen instead of making it happen," Heritage Academy coach Brad Butler said. "(Jackson Academy) got the momentum early on and kept it." 


Jackson Academy scored 26 points in the first half, much of it thanks to its running backs, who rushed for 163 yards in the first half. Raiders coach David Sykes also admitted his team capitalized on good fortune. 


The Patriots helped give the Raiders good field position on the first drive of the game when Jackson Academy cornerback Houston Keyes intercepted a pass from Will Swedenburg. After adding a Heritage 15-yard penalty, the Raiders only needed to drive 44 yards for Martin''s 1-yard touchdown run.  


After gaining few yards on the next drive, Swedenburg''s punt set the Raiders up 21 yards from the end zone. Martin took advantage, scoring from 14 yards. 


"If you make them drive 80 yards in sloppy field conditions, you increase your chances of getting a turnover," Butler said. "But we had a bad punting game early on and got behind." 


Heritage Academy lineman Blake Sharp said the Patriots need to develop a different mind-set to end their losing streak. 


"We need to have our minds on the game beforehand," Sharp said. "We need to know what we need to do for victory before we step on the field." 


Sharp also said he doesn''t think the Patriots have a leader and all of the players need to fill that role. 


"We need to find a leader, period," Butler said. "We have talent, but we are lacking in leadership. Someone needs to come out and say for us to turn this around, we need to step it up because what we are doing is not working." 


Early on in the season, Butler thought the Raiders were an average team, but then he got his hands on three more game tapes and recognized their speed. 


"They''ve got a hell of a team," Butler said. "They are sound everywhere. (Jackson Academy) may not be the biggest team, but every player that starts can move." 


Sykes said the Raiders typically throw the ball more, but kept it on the ground Friday night because of the wet field conditions.  


Raider sophomore quarterback Hull Bolls attempted only one pass, a 19-yard completion to Will Marley for a touchdown in the second quarter.  


"(Bolls) did a good job of managing the game," Butler said. "He''s not flashy, but he did a good job of getting it in the hands of the people who make plays." 


The Raiders tacked on seven points in the second half, and the defense preserved the shutout, Jackson Academy''s first of the season. 


"(Heritage has) some talented running backs, so it was big," he said. 


Butler agreed the Patriots have talent and turning the season around was just a matter of adopting a different attitude.  


"Stance Henderson on defense had a great football game," Butler said. "Matt Dickey and Richard Christopher also played hard on defense. Defense really got into the groove in the second half. 


"We have to find a way to come out from the opening kickoff with that level of intensity." 




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