No. 2: Madison Central Jaguars
Head Coach: Toby Collums
2021 Record: 13-1 (Class 6A State Champion)
Starters Returning: Offense: 6 Defense: 4
Players to Watch: WR Isaiah Spencer; QB Vic Sutton; RB/DB Deandre Pullen; TE Jake Norris; DL; Braxton Barney; DB Chris Berry; OL Joe Koury.
Coach Speak: “Winning State last year was very special. However, this is a new year, and we know that everyone that we play has the same goals as us. Fortunately, we have several kids in our locker room that experienced that success and know what it took to accomplish it. We have a lot of experience returning on the offensive side of the ball. We were more of a ground and pound type offense last year because of the way we were built. I would expect for us to be a little more balanced in 2022. Defensively we are going to be very young and inexperienced. We will have a lot of talented young men on that side but very little experience. It will be fun watching them get better as the year goes on. Our region is one of the toughest in the state, in my opinion. Week in and week out you are going to face good teams. With that type of competition every week, I think you go into the playoffs tested and ready to make a run. But the tough part is finishing in the top 4 in this region,” Collums said.
Outlook: The Jaguars are coming off their first state championship since 1999, so now the question is how will they respond? Madison has the pieces to once again make another run at the state championship, but needs some inexperienced guys to step up. The Jaguars have an experienced offense back with six starters returning led by quarterback Vic Sutton, who tossed for 1,719 yards with 17 touchdowns and had 334 yards rushing, 5 touchdowns before suffering a torn ACL in the playoffs last year. Running back Deandre Pullen is back to lead the ground game after rushing for 1,130 yards with 15 touchdowns last season, while top receiver Isaiah Spencer (1,046 yards receiving, 10 touchdowns in 2021) is back to help lead the passing game. Defensively is where the Jaguars have the least amount of experience with only four starters back. Defensive end Braxton Burney (68 tackles, 3 sacks last season) returns to anchor up front, while defensive back Chris Berry (72 tackles in 2021) will lead the secondary.
Season Opener: Aug. 26 at West Jones.