Hunter, Neshoba Central Taking Flight in 2018
Pictured: Neshoba Central ATH Marquez Hunter(#27) | Photo courtesy of Courtland Wells, The Vicksburg Post
Everything has begun to take off for Neshoba Central this season. In 2017 the Rockets finished 4-8 and missed the playoffs. Fast forward a year later and they are 7-2, and control their own destiny to finish third in region 2-5A and return to the playoffs for the first time since 2011.
Much of their success could be attributed to being more balanced their season. As a team, the Rockets have improved on both sides of the ball.
“We’ve been doing well running the ball and our defense is good this year,” Sophomore two-player Jarquez Hunter told SES Mississippi. “We get along really well with each other.”
Offensively, the Rockets are averaging more than 150 yards better than their mark from a season ago on the ground.They rush it for 389 yards per contest.
Defensively, they allow just 22 points per game. While having allowed 19 points or less in five of their nine games.
Hunter has played a hand on both of those units.
On offense he holds a team lead with 1,474 yards and 17 touchdowns on the ground. While also setting the pace for his team with a 10 yards per carry average. To top it off, he caught a 25-yard score on his only reception on the season.
Then over on the defensive side Hunter has added 51 tackles, three sacks, two interceptions and two fumble recoveries.
“I worked harder this summer for this season, and I have been having a pretty good season,” Hunter noted. “I have gotten faster and stronger than I was last year.”
At the running back position is where Hunter has shown brilliant playmaking ability. Hailing from a state that has no shortage of inspiring players at his position, Hunter found just that in “Sweetness.”
“Walter Payton is my favorite athlete,” He explained. “I like how he plays. I was just watching him on YouTube, and I’ve liked him ever since.”
His dominance on the field this season has been pretty special in its own right. In all but one game this season Hunter has rushed passed at least the century mark. While he’s scored a touchdown on the ground in each game. He’s rushed for 150 yards or more in six games, while rushing for multiple scores in as many games. Lastly, he’s rushed for 200 yards or more twice, while also rushing for three touchdowns in two games.
However, mostly his mind is fixated on the team’s ultimate goal to win it all. To do so, they must take care of two big division games over the next couple weeks. That includes Friday night at home versus Ridgeland next Friday back at home against Cleveland Central.
“We’ve got to go hard every day in practice and transfer that to the game,” Hunter said.