Hunter named 5A’s Mr. Football

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Congratulations to Jarquez Hunter of Neshoba Central, who has been named Mr. Football for Class 5A football by the Mississippi High School Activities Association.

Hunter and his teammates will be in action Friday night when they host Ridgeland in the third round of the Class 5A playoffs. Kickoff is at 7 p.m.

“He is very deserving,” Coach Patrick Schoolar said. “Really, it was a no brainer. He should have won it last year.”

Hunter leads the charge for the Rockets with 1,767 all-purpose yards. Hunter has rushed for 1,418 yards on 198 carries and has scored 22 touchdowns. He has caught 16 passes for 201 yards. Hunter has 84 yards in kickoff returns and 64 in punt returns.

The 9-1 Rockets have not played since October 23 when they dropped a 33-29 decision to Ridgeland. Neshoba Central was scheduled to play Cleveland Central the next week but took the forfeit win when Cleveland was quarantined with COVID-19. The Rockets were open the following week.

Then Lafayette, their first round playoff opponent, was also forced to forfeit after their team was quarantined with COVID-19. Not having played is a concern for Coach Schoolar and the Neshoba Central coaching staff.

Ridgeland, 7-2, was quarantined with the COVID-19 for two weeks after beating Neshoba Central. They had to forfeit a region game with Holmes County Central.  After an open date, the Titans came back to beat Lake Cormorant 36-28 in the first round last week.

“We have practiced hard and have tried to stay in playing shape,” Schoolar said. “We know Ridgeland well. Their quarterback is a very special player. We have gone back and studied the first game and made adjustments.”

The winner of this game will take on the winner of West Point and Grenada the Friday after Thanksgiving in the North State championship. If Neshoba Central wins, that game will be played in Rocket stadium.

“This has been a different type of season,” Schoolar said. “But every week, this team has been resilient. We have been fortunate to stay away from the COVID-19. Each week, we have tried to get better.

“Not having played for three weeks is going to be another test for us. This time of year, you either win or you go home.”


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