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MRA will host Murfreesboro Oakland in ESPN's Geico High School Football Showcase on Aug. 28

The Clarion-Ledger (Jackson) logo The Clarion-Ledger (Jackson) 7/28/2021 Langston Newsome, Mississippi Clarion Ledger
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Madison-Ridgeland Academy football will be on a national stage this season. The Patriots will be featured in ESPN's Geico High School Football Showcase when they host Murfreesboro Oakland of Tennessee  on ESPN2 at 2 p.m. on Aug. 28. 

a baseball player holding a bat: Madison-Ridgeland quarterback John White (1) goes long during play against Holmes County Central in a spring exhibition game at MRA in Madison, Miss., Saturday, May 15, 2021. © Barbara Gauntt/Clarion Ledger Madison-Ridgeland quarterback John White (1) goes long during play against Holmes County Central in a spring exhibition game at MRA in Madison, Miss., Saturday, May 15, 2021.

"It's a little bit different when that ESPN camera starts hanging around a little bit," MRA coach Herbert Davis said. "That's going to be interesting and a challenge to see how much we can stay focused that week."

MRA finished 12-0 and won the MAIS 6A championship last season. It was the program's fourth MAIS title and second championship in the last two years. 

Stone Blanton, the No. 7 recruit in the state, headlines the MRA defense. He was a 2020 All-State football selection with 99 tackles and five sacks last season. Blanton was also named to the 2021 Clarion Ledger Dandy Dozen, an annual list of Mississippi's top 12 seniors. 

Blanton — a Mississippi State baseball commitment — is the No. 33 ranked linebacker and No. 297 recruit in 2022, according to 247Sports Composite. 

2021 DANDY DOZEN: Meet the Dandy Dozen — Mississippi's top college football prospects for Class of 2022

STONE BLANTON'S TOP 3: 2022 4-star LB Stone Blanton lists top 3: Mississippi State, South Carolina and Texas A&M

Oakland's offense is led by four-star recruits Jordan James and Isaiah Horton.

James is committed to Georgia and the No. 16 ranked running back in the nation. Isaiah Horton is a Miami commitment and the No. 39 ranked wide receiver in the country. 

Oakland finished 15-0 and won its second Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association championship in the last three seasons. 

Davis is looking forward to the  test.

"We've got kids that have pride in our program," Davis  said. "We talk about the standard being the standard around here. It's been set and hopefully we're trying to elevate it." 

This article originally appeared on Mississippi Clarion Ledger: MRA will host Murfreesboro Oakland in ESPN's Geico High School Football Showcase on Aug. 28

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