High School Sports

D’Iberville, Madison Central adding big-time football game just before season

D'Iberville quarterback Michael Kozlowski carries the ball while competing against Petal in the first round of the Class 6A playoffs on Friday, November 11, 2016.
D'Iberville quarterback Michael Kozlowski carries the ball while competing against Petal in the first round of the Class 6A playoffs on Friday, November 11, 2016. amccoy@sunherald.com file

D’Iberville’s non-region schedule just got a lot tougher.

The Warriors agreed Thursday to bulk up their schedule by adding perennial power Madison Central to their schedule Sept. 1.

Terms of the home-and-home series were finalized by the school districts Thursday afternoon.

D’Iberville previously had its first of two off week built into the schedule that Friday, while the Jaguars were originally set to play Cordova, Tenn.

Now, the Warriors will travel to play a program that hasn’t won fewer than nine games twice in the last 10 seasons.

“For us it’s a great opportunity to play a great program with a great tradition,” D’Iberville coach Eric Collins said.

The Jaguars compiled a 10-4-1 record in its first year under coach Anthony Hart in 2016 and advanced all the way to the Class 6A North State Championship.

The Warriors are coming off of an 8-4 season, Collins’ first since moving on from Pearl River Central. Heading into the 2017 season, D’Iberville is expected to be one of the tougher teams on the Coast. Collins jokingly said the Warriors don’t need to “measuring stick” games, with a road game at Picayune the week before, but he hopes playing the Jaguars will earn D’Iberville some state-wide recognition.

“If we want our program to be where I want it to be, and where our people want it to be, then we have to play teams like that,” said Collins, who faced Madison Central twice when he was at Tupelo. “If we want to consider ourselves one of the better programs in the state, we have to play the best teams in the state.”

D’Iberville opens the season Aug. 18 at Tylertown and then visits Picayune on Aug. 25 before traveling to Madison Central. Following a home game against West Florida (Pensacola) on Sept. 8, D’Iberville has an open week before visiting rival Biloxi on Sept. 22 to open its Region 4-6A schedule.

Collins said Madison Central, which visits Ocean Springs on Aug. 25, will travel to D’Iberville in 2018.

Patrick Ochs: 228-896-2321, @PatrickOchs

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