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MADISON — It took a while for Madison Central to break through in Tuesday night's MHSAA 6A first-round playoff match against Center Hill, but Terron McIntyre came up huge in back-to-back minutes to send the Jaguars on to the second round.

The stage was set for an exciting match between Center Hill (13-4-0) and the Jaguars (13-2-1) in the opening round of the 6A playoffs, and neither team disappointed.

Center Hill had competed in one of the tougher regions in 6A going head-to-head with Lewisburg and Desoto Central. The Mustangs split games with both teams in very competitive contests. They found themselves as a 2 seed in the playoffs with a 4-2 region record. 

More: MHSAA Boys Soccer Brackets

Madison Central closed the season with a 5-0 win over Clinton and a 2-1 win over Germantown to claim their region championship. They had been one of the top teams in 6A all season and earned hosting rights in the first round due to those performances. 

The two teams met earlier in the season in a closely contested game that Madison Central came out on top in 2-1. That game was one that came down to the wire, and Tuesday's contest was no different.

Madison Central had the first chance of the game in the 4th minute. Caleb Davis set a shot up on his right foot and drilled a shot that required a nice save by the Center Hill goalkeeper. Davis attempted another shot from 20 yards ten minutes later that nearly snuck in as well.

Center Hill struck first in the 17th minute off the foot of Braden Taylor. Taylor pressured the Jaguar defense forcing a deflection that fell to him with no one but the goalkeeper in front. Taylor spun at the top of the box causing a collision between the goalkeeper and his defender and then Taylor fired home a goal to an empty net. The Mustangs were out front 1-0 early. 

Madison Central had a golden chance to equalize in the 32nd minute. Dillan Smith played in a great early cross that found the feet of teammate Tyler Leach at the top of the box with no defender close. Leach took a touch and ripped a shot but a great save kept Center Hill up 1-0. The Jaguars applied a ton of pressure on the Mustang goal in the final moments of the half, but Center Hill weathered the storm and went to half up 1-0. 

Madison Central continued their pressure into the second half but the Center Hill center back pairing of Carter Burton and Ethan Scott consistently cut out Jaguar chances. The Jaguars did finally break through after Burton made a great recovery run to stop a breakaway in the 51st minute giving Madison Central a corner.

Dillan Smith rose and got a great header on the corner kick that had to be cleared off the line by the defense. The ball then fell to Terron McIntyre who smashed home a finish evening the game in the 52nd minute. 

The Jags then wasted no time taking the lead and taking control of the game. Just a minute later Regal Perry received the ball on the right-hand side and proceeded to beat multiple defenders. Perry then ripped a shot with his left that came crashing off the cross bar and yet again, fell perfectly to Terron McIntyre who finished the chance away from 5 yards. 

Center Hill generated a few dangerous offensive chances in the final 15 minutes of action but ultimately was unable to find an equalizing goal. Madison Central had their second half come back and were advancing to the second round of the playoffs. 

Madison Central will now travel to face 2 seed Hernando on Saturday. Hernando was victorious in the first round over Starkville by a score of 1-0.

MORE: MHSAA Class 6A Soccer Bracket

Goals: Braden Taylor (17’, Center Hill), Terron McIntyre (52’, 53’)
Assists: Dillan Smith (52’, Madison Central), Regal Perry (53’, Madison Central)

Players of the Game:

Madison Central – Terron McIntyre
Center Hill – Braden Taylor 

Feature photo by Dylan Tribolet