Four Down Territory: Madison’s PAT streak comes to an end; local players hit career milestones; LSU can’t score against ‘Bama

Published 8:00 am Tuesday, November 6, 2018

You’re in Four Down Territory. Each week we’ll spotlight four notes, nuggets, stats or trends from the weekend that was in Mississippi high school football, college football, and the NFL.

In the grand scheme of things, it was a meaningless extra point. The score was one-sided, the crowd was largely disinterested or already heading for the exits. A lot of them might not have even been paying attention.

When the ball sailed wide right, however, it brought an end to an impressive two-year run of perfection.

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Warren Central kicker John William Madison missed the first PAT of his high school career — on his last attempt of the regular season — in Friday’s 34-13 victory over Provine. The senior had made 55 in a row dating to the start of the 2017 season.

Madison made his first four PATs against Provine before missing in the third quarter.

“I have a system that I go through. The referee was taking too long and it knocked me out of it,” Madison said. “I’ve been perfect for two years and it kind of sucks.”

Perfect or not, it’s been a pretty good season for Madison. He has also converted on three of his six field goal attempts to help Warren Central (5-5) reach the Class 6A playoffs for the seventh consecutive season. WC will go on the road to play Horn Lake (11-0) in the first round this Friday night.

“It’s been a decent year,” Madison said. “There’s a couple of field goals I wish I would have made, but you can’t make them all. I’m just trying to kick one and move on to the next one.”

LSU, in any given year, is one of the top college football programs in the country. Alabama has a habit of making it look like one of the worst.

LSU’s 29-0 loss to No. 1 Alabama on Saturday night was its sixth shutout loss since 1994. Five of them have come at the hands of the Crimson Tide. The Tigers have not scored a touchdown at home against Alabama in 11 quarters and one overtime period, dating to the first quarter of the 2014 game.

Alabama has won eight straight in the series, and held LSU to 17 points or less in nine consecutive meetings dating to the 2011 regular season.

Saturday’s rushing total of 12 yards was also LSU’s worst output since it had minus-7 yards in a 31-10 loss to Florida on Oct. 9, 1999.

With only one Warren County team still active, several players have put the finishing touches on memorable seasons or careers and reached notable milestones:

• Vicksburg High sophomore quarterback Levi Wyatt threw for 293 yards and two touchdowns in a season-ending 46-13 loss to Holmes County Central on Friday. He finished the season with 2,220 yards, the sixth-highest single-season total in Warren County history and only the seventh time a quarterback has thrown for more than 2,000 yards.

• St. Aloysius wide receiver Ryan Theriot set the school’s career records for receptions (82) and receiving yards (1,391) after hauling in 34 passes for 536 yards and five touchdowns this season.

Theriot finished his career with 16 touchdown receptions, which is one short of Brandon Teller’s school record of 17 set between 2013 and 2016. Theriot is also the 18th player in Warren County history to total 1,000 receiving yards in his career, and the 10th to do it in the last 10 years.

• Warren Central quarterback Antonio Thompson still has at least one playoff game to add to his stats, but has already made history by becoming the only player in Warren County history to throw for at least 3,000 yards and run for more than 2,000 in their high school career.

Thompson, who started at St. Aloysius for two seasons before transferring to Warren Central last winter, has 3,155 passing yards and 2,380 rushing yards. Only 12 other quarterbacks have thrown for at least 3,000 yards.

Thompson is also one of only 13 county players with at least 30 career touchdown passes, and could conceivably wind up alone in another category if Warren Central can make a deep run in the playoffs. No county player has passed for 30 touchdowns and run for 30 more in their high school career. Thompson has 30 touchdown passes and 26 rushing TDs.

South Carolina’s 48-44 victory over Ole Miss on Saturday continued a long trend of close games in a series that started in 1947.

Thirteen of the 16 meetings between the teams, including the last five, have been decided by seven points or less. Ole Miss has won all three blowouts in the series — 33-0 in 1947, 21-0 in 1972, and 36-10 in 1999.

South Carolina has now won the last three meetings and, thanks to the quirks of the Southeastern Conference’s scheduling system, will maintain that winning streak for a while. It is not scheduled to play Ole Miss again until 2025.

Saturday’s game was their first meeting since 2009.

About Ernest Bowker

Ernest Bowker is The Vicksburg Post's sports editor. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post's sports staff since 1998, making him one of the longest-tenured reporters in the paper's 140-year history. The New Jersey native is a graduate of LSU. In his career, he has won more than 50 awards from the Mississippi Press Association and Associated Press for his coverage of local sports in Vicksburg.

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