Madison Prep has already matched its victory total from a year ago with five games left in the regular season.
The Chargers (4-1) have four shutouts and their lone loss was to Class 5A Woodlawn High, an impressive feat for a Class 1A team. MPA coach Michael Roach is making sure his team enters Saturday’s District 6-1A opener without delusions of grandeur.
“We’re still so young, and in some ways, that’s a good thing,” Roach said. “Our guys aren’t thinking about what people say on message boards and online.
“I don’t even think they know we’re No. 1 in the (1A LHSAA) power rankings. We just want to keep them focused week to week. Our goal this week is to get that first district win.”
Madison Prep hosts Christian Life (2-3) in a 6-1A opener set for Saturday at 6:30 p.m. at McKinley High. Another win could give the Chargers the final push they need to move into the Louisiana Sports Writers Association’s top 10 in their second varsity season.
But it’s the push for one more win that is the prime objective for Roach and Christian Life coach Keith Dooley. A year ago, the Crusaders took a 10-point win over MPA. Like Roach, Dooley understands what a difference a year can make.
“When you look at them (Madison Prep) this year, it’s like the difference between night and day,” Dooley said. “They’ve got some big, talented kids who can make plays all over the field. We know we’ll have our hands full.
“Our skill players are older, but otherwise we’re very young and our numbers are down a little. And when you factor in some injuries, it’s even tougher, especially in this district.”
It would be easy for both teams to look ahead to traditional powers like Southern Lab and Kentwood. Both teams insist they’ll be focused only on Week 6.
“We have a lot of respect for Christian Life and what they do,” Roach said. “Their skill players, the quarterback and receiver are talented and can hurt you. We know that.”
Jacob Williams has passed for 643 yards for the Crusaders, while receiver Justin Hutchinson has 460 yards receiving and 7 TDs.
CLA’s Dooley singled out Roach’s son, defensive lineman/tight end Malcolm Roach, as a “Division I caliber player,” but noted that the Chargers have playmakers all over the field. Running back Quincy Banks leads the MPA offense with 524 rushing yards and should be recovered from an ankle injury that sidelined him last week.