By Robert Clark
The Madison Southern Eagles were victorious on Friday, defeating district rival North Laurel, 26-10.
Sophomore Damien Harris found the end zone four times and rushed for 194 yards, while Buddy Harrison had three interceptions.
Madison Southern opened the game forcing the Jaguars on three-and-out, which led to the game’s first score — a 7-yard touchdown run by Harris.
This would be the score at the end of the first quarter.
In a game that featured lots of penalties from both teams and great clock management, the Eagles would score once more before halftime on a 1-yard touchdown by Harris to give the Eagles a 13-0 lead.
The Jaguars converted on a fourth down at the 1:55 mark, responding with offense of their own until the drive would come up short with Harrison’s first interception.
“It takes all the enthusiasm out of a team when you turn the ball over when your making progress. Turnovers and penalties killed us,” North Laurel coach Chris Larkey said.
Madison Southern was held in check for the entire first half with a combined 59 yards on the ground until Harris once again took the ball to the house, scoring on a 81-yard touchdown that would put the Eagles up 19-0 in the 3rd quarter.
“We was doing the right things. Credit the Jaguars for eliminating the outside but we knew that by execution and teamwork that good things would happen with the running game,” Southern coach Jon Clark said.
The Eagles would once again score in the fourth quarter on a fourth-and-goal on a 1-yard run by Harris.
That score gave Harris 34 touchdowns this season.
Despite the score, the Jaguars would not quit, getting on the scoreboard with a field goal with just more than seven minutes remaining.
Afterwards, the Jaguars would recover an onside kick. Later, a fake punt would lead to the team’s first touchdown of the night.
The two coaches both mentioned their team’s faults after the game.
“If our team could have put together the first three quarters together like the fourth it would put our team in a better position to win,” Larkey said.
Southern let a late lead slip away last week against Pulaski County, but didn’t let that happen this time.
“Our team has got to learn to secure a win,” Clark said. “We make mistakes late and we got to avoid these mistakes.”
North Laurel’s last drive would end in an interception. The Eagles forced four turnovers and with the victory Madison Southern is in position to play host to a home playoff game the first since 2002.
Next week, Southern will travel to district rival South Laurel.