Zeon Chriss had an off night passing the football, but when he used his legs he made big things happen for Madison Prep in its Class 3A playoff game against St. James.

By the time he finished, he and the reigning champion Chargers were headed back to the quarterfinals following a 33-10 win Thursday night at Memorial Stadium.

Chris completed only rushed 10 times, but he had a game-high 129 yards and three touchdowns. Madison Prep (11-1) trailed 7-0, but its defense came alive after allowing a first quarter touchdown.

St. James (7-4) moved into MPA territory four times in the second half, but came away scoreless each time. The Chargers defense capped its night with a goal line stand in the closing minutes.

St. James wide receiver Shazz Preston was held to six catches for 73 yards. Wildcats quarterback Marquell Bergeron was 11 of 18 for 66 yards with two interceptions before being shaken up in the third quarter.

How it was won

Madison Prep took control in the first half.

The game was played on even terms until David Jones intercepted St. James quarterback Marquell Bergeron early in the second quarter. Intended receiver Kobe Brown tipped the ball in the air, and Jones returned the interception 45 yards to the St. James 13. Chriss’ 8-yard run on fourth down gave the Chargers a 14-7 lead.

St. James responded with the longest drive of the halftime by either time. The Wildcats used 10 plays and 4:49 of clock to move 58 yards, but stalled at the MPA 12. Alex Mahler then kicked a 28-yard field goal.

After the kickoff, Madison Prep needed only six plays to go 80 yards for its third touchdown. Chriss had runs of 31 and 34 yards to help set up Tony Lewis’ 10-yard touchdown run.

The Chargers led 21-10 at halftime.

Player of the game

Madison Prep quarterback Zeon Chriss: Chriss had touchdown runs of 11, 8 and 26 yards. Of his 10 rushes, six went for first downs.

Notable

Madison Prep advances to the 3A quarterfinals to face the winner of No. 17 Westlake at top-seeded Sterlington. Those teams play at 7 p.m. Friday.

Madison Prep running back Tony Lewis was the team’s workhorse, carrying 21 times for 122 yards. He scored on a 10-yard run in the second quarter.