The Eagles (1-2, 1-1 district) weren't back at full strength, but they did have a couple of important players back on the field last week.

And they certainly made an impact.

Madison Southern's offense put together its best performance of the season in a 34-14 win over district rival East Jessamine at home.

"We feel like if we can stay healthy, we can keep improving," Southern coach Jon Clark said of the Jack Burford Sports Show earlier this week.

The Eagles are expected to get a couple of more important players back this week as they hit the road for another district match-up.

Junior linebacker Brayden Carson and junior tight end/lineman Zach Hess should be back in the line-up tonight as Southern takes on on Woodford County.

Game time is set for 7:30 p.m. in Versailles.

Sophomore quarterback Cole Carpenter and junior running back A.J. Jones sat out the loss to Collins two weeks ago with injuries.

Against East Jessamine (1-3, 0-2), Carpenter completed 11-of-14 passes for 273 yards and four touchdowns and no interceptions. He completed passes to five different receivers, including an 82-yarder to Jonah Farnstrom.

It was just the second career varsity start for the sophomore quarterback.

"I am asking him to do a lot back there. More than most 15-year-old quarterbacks are being asked to do," Clark said of Carpenter. "There's a learning curve, not just for him but for the offensive line."

Jones was also back.

Against East Jessamine he had a team-best 51 yards rushing.

Walt Smith had four catches for 114 yards and two touchdowns and Farnstrom had two catches for 94 yards.

Southern had a season-best 337 yards of total offense.

"We feel like we are on the verge of something really special with our skill guys," Clark said.

Senior Xavier Strothman also had three catches for 33 yards, including a 14-yard TD catch. The tight end has six receptions on the season.

"He commands a ton of attention," Clark said of Strothman.

Southern's defense was impressive once again.

The Eagles allowed 301 total yards of offense, but help the Jaguars off the scoreboard until the fourth quarter and also forced two turnovers.

"Our defense continues to show out," Clark said. "Our kids are playing outstanding. We don't get panicked. Our staff does a really good job of putting them in position to have success. We find ways to turn the ball over and we find ways to buckle down in the red zone."

Levi Benton had 15 solo tackles and four assists last week. Strothman had 11 tackles and Jayshawn Ethridge and Clay Bunch each had 10 tackles.

Jackson Chambers had an interception.

"When you are making big plays on both sides of the ball, you don't have to make every play," Clark said. "We can make mistakes and still find a way to win."

The Eagles have found a way to beat Woodford County a lot recently.

Madison Southern have a six-game winning streak against the Yellow Jackets, including two wins last season. The Eagles picked up a 40-7 win during the regular season, then defeated Woodford County 50-20 in the opening round of the Class 5A Playoffs.

The Yellow Jackets are 1-1 on the season.

They had a game with Frankfort canceled because of COVID-19 related issues and were off last week.

Woodford beat Great Crossing, 35-13, in the season opener before falling to Franklin County, 40-22.

Quarterback Bryce Patterson has completed 14-of-27 pass this season for 322 yards with three touchdowns and two interceptions.

Running back Preston Stacy has 172 yards rushing on 33 attempts with two touchdowns and Nicholas Otoole, Coy Hayes and JD Alexander each have a TD reception.

"They've got good athletes, like they always do," Clark said of Woodford County. "We are very familiar with them. They play hard. We've got to be sound."

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