Jefferson and Mount Vernon both saw spectacular seasons ended prematurely in 2017.

The Tigers got through the regular season unscathed, only to lose in the area round of the playoffs and finish 11-1. Jefferson began the season 8-0 and also fell in the second round for a final record of 10-2.

Both teams will start anew in 2018, and they’ll find themselves grappling together in District 7-3A Division I. They’ll meet on Oct. 12 in Mount Vernon in what should be one of the deciding games in the district race.

Mount Vernon RB Cade Hyman. (© Clint Buckley,
Mount Vernon RB Cade Hyman. (© Clint Buckley,

The team have not played each other since at least 2005, the earliest year MaxPreps started keeping track of games.

Jefferson returns most of its offensive weapons from 2017, most importantly Arkansas commit T.Q. Jackson, who plays receiver. Jackson was just shy of 1,000 yards receiving last season, putting up 938 yards and 11 touchdowns on 40 receptions. He will be one of the better receiver in the area, and Mount Vernon might have a tough time defending him.

Jefferson also returns quarterback Trey Hodge, who there for 1,872 yards in 2017, and running backs Dee Black and Tybo Williams.

Eric Gipson, who took defensive MVP at the combine in May, will lead the team at defensive end. He had 137 tackles (25 for loss) and 10 sacks last year.

Mount Vernon brings back quarterback Kason Pletcher, who totaled 1,220 yards in 2017.

Defensively, the Tigers have what it takes to keep the Bulldogs in check. Daniel Arnold is back after recording 32 tackles for loss last season, and leading tackler Nathan Smith returns looking to build on his 178 tackles from last season.

This game has potential to be one of the best of the year, coming in at No. 20 on’s list.'s Top 25 Games of 2018

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