• John Macon Gillespie

Rogers Ready To Lead Charge Again In 2018

It didn’t take long for Brandon 2020 quarterback Will Rogers to be thrown into the fire that is 6A football.

In his first season of varsity ball, Rogers did not disappoint, completing 64 percent of his passes for 2,476 yards and 18 TDs. Despite a solid sophomore campaign, the Bulldogs finished 7-6, their worst record since 2008. They also were also bounced in the first round by rising coastal power, Hancock.

This season, Rogers believes that this team can find their way to The Rock at season’s end with his experience from 2017 and the help of his receivers.

“I feel way better coming into my second year,” Rogers told SES Mississippi. “I have put on 15-20 pounds and I feel like I have the experience and understand what it takes to win a state championship this year.”

A state championship is something that the Bulldogs have yet to win. They haven’t played for it all since 2012. That year, it seemed as if the entire city was crammed in the east side of Mississippi Veterans Memorial Stadium. That year was an example of what Brandon football is all about.

“It just means more here at Brandon,” Rogers said. “You can tell how much it means to the people every Friday night, no matter where we play or what the conditions may be. I take great pride putting in that jersey every Friday night, because I know I’m playing for the whole city of Brandon.”

One of his targets, Jonathan Mingo, was the first to give the defense fits this season. Mingo hauled in eight catches, 164 yards, and a score. However, there could be more eye popping stats from other players if Mingo catches too much attention on the other side of the football.

“We have tremendous receivers. Everyone knows about Mingo and what he can do. We also have other guys like Ashton Nickleberry, Ladarius Moore, and Zavier Robinson as well who know how to get open and run great routes. They make my job 10 times easier as a QB,” Rogers said.

Last week, Rogers had 204 yards passing. His team did just enough to squeeze past Madison Central 14-7 to start off 1-0. Big victory, but not good enough offensively according to Rogers.

“Well last week, I thought we didn’t play well offensively. We stopped ourselves a lot and made mistakes. I thought our defense played extremely well. It was a great team win versus a great 6A opponent,” Rogers said.

That comment from Rogers stems from his motivation when he takes the field every Friday night in the fall.

“Just never being satisfied, looking to dominate every opponent that we play every single week,” Rogers said.

He will look to do so in Batesville this Friday as the Bulldogs travel up I-55 to take on the South Panola Tigers. The defense he is up against impressed greatly despite dropping an absolute heartbreaking 14-7 overtime decision to Clinton.

“We just have to execute at a high level,” Rogers said. “We know that have a terrific front seven, so we will have to come ready to play and ready to go Friday night in order to win.”

**Photo Courtesy of Keith Warren, MHSAA

#Brandon #JaredRedding

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