Player of the Week: Perry Central sophomore QB Austin Jones

Published: Oct. 18, 2022 at 11:26 PM CDT
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NEW AUGUSTA, Miss. (WDAM) - Perry Central, High School football coach Craig Cluff expected some growing pains with 11 sophomore starters.

But, now, his young pups are starting to become Bulldogs.

“They’re not sophomores (any) more,” Cluff said. “We told them at the beginning of the year they were sophomores, now we’re week nine, so they’re a little bit more mature and I’ve seen them develop in that way.”

It all came together in Friday’s 42-24 win over West Marion High School.

“We’ve proven a lot since week one,” Sophomore quarterback Austin Jones said. “Been coming out here, working hard every day and getting after it.”

Jones accounted for six Perry Central touchdowns, rushing for 241 yards and five scores while also returning a kickoff 75 yards to the house.

“Offensive line stepped up, did their thing, and I was able to do mine,” Jones said.

It was just what the doctor ordered.

Jones said he finally felt fully healthy on Friday after spraining his knee back in week two.

“He had a great game,” Cluff said. “He was injured earlier in the year, came back from that right there.

“I’ve been coaching for 23 years, and he’s one of the first guys I’ve had that’s scored six touchdowns in a game. Definitely made a difference right there and gave us that spark we needed.”

The Bulldogs are going to need him at full strength as the postseason nears. Perry Central’s win Friday clinched a spot in the playoffs for the first time in two years.

“Big deal for our community, for our team, for our kids,” Cluff said. “Our guys are really fired up about that, not making it last year and having a chance to get in there this year.

“Now, next couple weeks is going to be all about seeding. If you win, you get to be a little higher seed and maybe eventually be able to host a home game, That’s what we’re hoping to do.”

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