This season, the Eagles have had no trouble building up big leads.

It was hanging on to them that was the problem.

Second-half comebacks by opponents has plagued Madison Southern in its narrow losses the past few weeks.

On Friday, the Eagles made sure it didn't happen again.

Southern (4-4) caught fire early and blasted Woodford County (4-3) in dominant 40-7 victory in Berea.

The Eagles are now 2-1 against district competition.

Powered by four rushing touchdowns from AJ Jones, Friday's win was the Eagles' second-highest scoring victory of the season.

Southern dominated both sides of the ball, with the defense limiting the Yellow Jackets to just one touchdown in the first half -- the fewest points allowed by any Woodford County opponent so far this season.

"The offense was great and the defense played well. Everything worked for us tonight. Every other game, we haven't been able to finish. We just had to pick it up and finally we finished. Tonight, we kept pounding until the end and got the win," freshman Jackson Chambers said after the game.

Southern coach Jon Clark said he felt it was the first time this season his team has played a complete game.

"We've been waiting for our team to click. We were right there with Pulaski and we were right with East Jessamine. I think guys are starting to take ownership and that's so important. They are listening and adapting… I think we played great tonight," Clark said.

The Eagles struck early and often -- scoring in every quarter.

It took just two plays for Southern to take an early 7-0 lead over the Yellow Jackets.

Quarterback Tobias Storm rushed for 26 yards from the 40-yard line for a huge first down and then handed the ball off to Jones on the next play.

The sophomore running back broke through a tackle and raced down the sideline for a touchdown.

Then Southern's defense got moving.

The Eagles got the ball back quickly, after Chambers picked off a pass to put Southern back in possession at the 40 yard line.

Southern turned it over on downs, but once again, the defense got the ball back.

Jayshaun Etheridge recovered a fumble and put the Eagles at the 20-yard line.

Walt Smith carried the ball into the end zone to expand the Eagles lead 14-0 at the end of the first quarter.

The Yellow Jackets answered in the opening minutes of the second quarter when Sidney Mudd took advantage of a hole in the defense and sped down the field for a touchdown.

The Eagles didn't blink and answered on their next drive by unleashing Jones once again.

The sophomore broke away from the right side and rushed for almost 80 yards for a touchdown to make it 21-7.

With 2:49 remaining in the half, Jones picked up his third touchdown of the night on a 40-yard carry.

The Yellow Jackets quickly moved down the field thanks to Amartae Rice, who found a hole and picked up some yards.

However, on the next play Chambers picked off another pass from Woodford County to eliminated the chance for the Yellow Jackets to score.

"I've watched this kid grow up for a long time," Clark said of Chambers. "He did great tonight... He take so much pride in putting on that uniform and cleats and it means a lot to him and you can tell by the way he plays."

The Eagles took a 27-7 lead into the locker room.

In the second half, the Eagles continued to keep their foot on the gas.

Smith scored on a 16-yard carry in the third quarter, while Jones finished out the night with his fourth scoring play with six minutes remaining in the game.

"I just walked the last one into the end zone," Smith said of his touchdown. "Our blockers were perfect. All the credit goes to them. They stepped up big time tonight."

Storm agreed.

"This was probably one of my worst night throwing the ball. Thankfully, I feel like the guys picked it up defensively and in the run game. Our linebackers really stepped up. We thought we were going to have some trouble with their running back, but our defense held strong," Storm said.

Clark said with many opponents keying in on Smith, the Eagles decided to put the ball in Jone's hands for many of the plays.

"Walt is one of the best receivers in the state and other teams are noticing. AJ was our open guy tonight… He is getting better and better and obviously he has a third and fourth gear," Clark said.

The Eagles will take on West Jessamine Friday in Nicholasville..

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