It’s no secret Noel Jones is a strong basketball player.
Despite an injury that sidelined him for nearly half his junior season, Jones came back with a vengeance and helped lead Central Coosa to the Class 2A boys basketball championship earlier this year.
He was a leader in scoring and in rebounding as well as a top dog on the Cougar defense.
But Jones proved Friday night he’s not just a basketball player.
After being ineligible for Coosa in Week 0 due to missing paperwork, Jones made his debut against Holtville. Although the final score was lopsided in the Bulldogs’ favor, Jones still made a name for himself. Offensively, he finished with 56 yards on six touches.
“He’s very rusty but in his first full game, he did well,” Coosa coach Brett Thomas said. “He made a lot of significant plays.”
Jones also had to keep his cool as he was flagged for an unsportsmanlike conduct for giving a shove after a Holtville player tackled him out of bounds. Thomas said it could’ve easily been offsetting flags as he felt the Bulldog player should’ve been penalized for a late hit.
“Noel handled it well though and he kept his head,” Thomas said. “He understood that you can’t retaliate in any way.”
The best part about Jones is with his size, speed and athleticism, he can play nearly anywhere on the field. Now, it’s just about getting him to understand the game, Thomas said, but Jones played a bit at receiver and running back and also took a few snaps under center. Defensively, Jones can be used as a linebacker, defensive end or cornerback.
“Their defensive backs had a hard time defending him as a receiver, but we just couldn’t get him the ball,” Thomas said. “I’m hoping next week he will be in pretty much game condition because he wasn’t here in the summer, but we can use him in a variety of ways. That’s the advantage. He’s very versatile.”
No. 2 punch
For the third season in a row, Cameron Faison is the offensive weapon for Reeltown. He is speedy and agile, and if he gets loose, he can run away from almost any defense.
But what the Rebels have been searching for, especially since an injury to Tre Tre Hughley to start the season a year ago, was the thunder to Faison’s lightning. The Rebels may have found that in Scooter Brooks on Friday night.
Brooks finished with 57 yards and two touchdowns on just eight carries, and Reeltown coach Matt Johnson said a lot of Brooks’ yards came after contact.
Quarterback question mark
“If we would’ve had to go another drive, Carter (Smith) couldn’t have gone.”
That’s what Benjamin Russell coach Kevin Smith said about his quarterback after Friday night’s game against the Clay Central Volunteers.
Carter Smith looked a little woozy in the final minutes, and as of Wednesday afternoon, he was still under concussion protocol. Coach Smith said he did not know Carter’s status for Friday, but he’s hopeful Carter will make his return because Benjamin Russell has little to no depth behind him at quarterback.
It was a light week in terms of offensive output for area teams, mostly because a lot of them were fairly well-rounded.
Two newcomers busted into the Century Club though. Dadeville’s Jamarion Wilkerson, who was the Outlook Player of the Week, finished with 105 yards on just five catches. He also had a touchdown.
Reeltown quarterback Iverson Hooks also joined the Club by notching 103 rushing yards; the bulk of his damage came on a 65-yard touchdown on the first play of the third quarter.