25 Teams in 25 Days

Harrison Central hoping to still pack a punch in 2017

Jefferson Davis County wins debut as Jaguars at Port City Bowl Classic

Jefferson Davis County High School defeated Harrison Central 25-10 on Friday at Milner Stadium in Gulfport.
Up Next
Jefferson Davis County High School defeated Harrison Central 25-10 on Friday at Milner Stadium in Gulfport.

There aren’t a lot of guarantees when it comes to high school football. The Harrison Central Red Rebels, however, boast one: Keon Moore will bring the lumber.

The talented rusher is back for his senior season and HCHS is certainly thankful for that. With quarterback Tavis Williams now at Jackson State, the Red Rebels will rely even more on the 5-foot-11, 200-pound senior in 2017, if that’s possible. Coach Casey Cain, entering his third year in Lyman, believes Moore is up to the task.

“The biggest thing is staying consistent. He had a great year last year,” Cain said. “Really there’s a few cuts here or there that he might could have done differently, but Lord, we just want the same guy back.”

Moore burst onto the prep scene as a sophomore, rushing for 1,016 yards and six touchdowns. He only improved his stock as a junior, running for 1,775 yards and 21 touchdowns. Nine times in 11 games Moore eclipsed 100 yards, averaging more than 161 per contest. Although Moore was held to 63 yards in Harrison Central’s opener, Cain believes the senior will continue to evolve as a dynamic running back in 2017.

“His sophomore year all he wanted to do was run North-South,” Cain said. “Last year he knew to make that one cut to get to the sideline and use his speed. I don’t think he trusted his speed in the past. I think he’s faster this year and he loves to block.”

The Red Rebels are once again blessed with experience and size on the offensive line. Anchored by junior Bryce Ramsey, Harrison Central also returns starters Wes Carter and Allen Funk.

“We’re going to have some good size again on the offensive line. I feel like right now our running backs and offensive line are definitely our strengths,” Cain said. “It’s crucial this year. It’ll give (quarterback Chase Jones) a little stability so he knows everything doesn’t rely on him — especially if you can play action and run, you can open the pass up. But if you can’t run the ball, you have nothing to open the pass up.”

Jones will be moving under center after standing out last season as a tight end. At 6-foot-3, 215 pounds, Jones looks the part of a quarterback. Through his workouts and practices, the senior has Cain believing he’ll play the part, too.

“He’s one of the best athletes in this school to be honest with you. He can hit a baseball, he can shoot a basketball,” Cain said. “He’s an athlete so we feel good even though he was our No. 1 receiver last year. The quarterback has to hold it every time so if it wasn’t going to be Keon I guess I’d rather it be him.”

In his debut against the Jaguars, Jones completed 9 of 16 passes for 75 yards with a touchdown.

The Red Rebels always seem to be on the search for a go-to receiver. After moving their top pass catcher from a year ago to quarterback, Cain said he’s expecting Isaac Harris (13 receptions, 127 yards) and Levi Myers (4, 42, 1 TD) to be reliable receivers for Jones.

Defense

The Red Rebels will be considerably smaller on the defensive side of the ball. Cain hopes his team makes up for the size difference with athleticism.

“We’re going to have to make it with quickness, speed, running to the football and gang tackling,” he said of his defense, which will start at least six new players.

The Red Rebels are transitioning to a 3-4 base defense this year, but Cain expects to utilize different schemes.

“Everything will be coordinated off of what we’re seeing,” he said.

The leader of the defense will have be two-year starter Charvis Gandy, a senior defensive lineman who recorded 32 tackles, five tackles for loss and one sack in 2016.

Cain pointed to junior Devante Pinkins as the leader of the linebackers. As a sophomore, Pinkins made 38 tackles with four TFLs.

“I think he can be really good,” Cain said.

The secondary has the benefit of returning Harrison Central’s leading tackler from a year ago in senior Brandon Billingsley, who collected 62 tackles.

“I’m expecting big things out of him,” Cain said.

Looking for improvement

In Cain’s HCHS debut in 2015, the Red Rebels won in thrilling fashion in the regular season finale to squeak into the playoffs. Last year, the Red Rebels narrowly missed out on the post-season. Cain’s optimistic with Moore leading the offense his team can bounce back in 2017.

“We want to improve on last year,” he said. “The biggest thing is getting into the playoffs, hope you can win a playoff game and then everyone has a chance at that time of year. That’s basically what we want to do.”

Patrick Ochs: 228-896-2321, @PatrickOchs

Harrison Central schedule

Aug. 18: Jefferson Davis County*

Aug. 25: At Stone

Sept. 1: At Forest Hill

Sept. 15: George County

Sept. 22: Pascagoula

Sept. 29: At Biloxi

Oct. 6: At St. Martin

Oct. 13: Gulfport

Oct. 20: Hancock

Oct. 27: At D’Iberville

Nov. 3: Ocean Springs

* - Denotes Port City Bowl Classic at Gulfport, 5:30 p.m.

Harrison Central roster

1 Keon Moore

2 Chase Jones

3 K.J. Means

4 Courtland Gayten

5 Brandon Billingsley

6 Levi Myers

7 Geovontey Fairley

8 Davante Pinkins

9 Vontrez Roessling

10 Erion Moore

11 Isaac Harris

12 Kenrickus Boler

13 J.T. Pickett

14 Azhani Ray

15 Jordan Brown

16 Gannon Stringer

17 Josiah Khan

18 Gino Johnson

19 Justin Ladner

20 Robert West

21 Jacobi Moore

24 Brandon Smith

25 Charvis Gandy

26 Chris Davis

27 Christopher Moore

28 Nigel Moore

29 Aldric Salvage

30 Khyri Thompson

32 Ricky Willis

33 Chris Khalil

34 Kendrick Shields

35 Cam Patterson

36 Sam Quick

37 Wayne Adams

38 Charles Mayet

40 Juju Thompson

41 Caleb Harvey

42 Tworn Silas

43 Jaderion Dillon

45 Andrew Detwiler

46 Johnathan Dedeaux

48 Javion Kahn

50 Jesse Smith

51 Daylen Mikell

53 D’mikal Dorsey

54 Kendal Bennett

55 Rashon Reynolds

57 A.J. Holloway

58 Blake Sharp

59 D’andre Walker

63 Darryus Dorsey

64 Justin Moore

65 Gregory Morris

71 Mike Jones

72 Bryce McKinney

73 Tavion Young

74 Allen Funk

75 Bryce Ramsey

78 Wes Carter

79 Adarius Buckley

82 Tobias Johnson

83 Luis Montanez

84 Logan Olmer

86 Jaeden Saucier

87 Deonte Johnson

90 Jonah Fairley

91 Jeremy Waller

92 Dalton Cuevas

93 Raheem Raiford

94 Paul Williams

Related stories from Biloxi Sun Herald

  Comments