We’re reached that magical time of year where it’s seemingly all football all the time. Here are some thoughts from last weekend’s action.
Warren County sophomore RB Jay Rozier has hit the full-speed button and is plowing through opposing defenses. He has become the focal point of the Pioneer offense behind his ability to run through tacklers and also catch passes out of the backfield.
Rozier leads the Pioneers in catches with 10 and TDs with 6. His 250 yards rushing is second only to QB Isaiah Grayson who has 322.
Another offensive sparkplug Friday night was Pioneer freshman Clay Thompson, who is the backup QB. For the first time this season, Thompson was used as a WR in the second half against Coffee County.
Thompson made 3 catches, but the play that stands out for me is a ball he caught about 5 yards from the line with a defender in his face. Thompson made such a quick move to the inside, the defensive back didn’t even touch him in what turned out to be a 21-yard gain. It’s been years since I’ve seen a Pioneer make such a fierce juke.
Most of us saw the last-second bomb and the dramatic Florida victory. Blah, blah, blah.
Moving on, I didn’t like the unsportsmanlike conduct flag assessed to Vols RB John Kelly after his highlight-reel, 34-yard TD run in the fourth quarter. Kelly flailed his arms to mimic the Gator chomp and the Vols were penalized 15 yards on the ensuing kickoff.
The penalty may not seem like much, but it led to a big kickoff return, a Florida TD, and what appeared to be a safe 20-10 lead.
The rulebook says unsportsmanlike conduct includes: “Any delayed, excessive, prolonged or choreographed act by which a player (or players) attempts to focus attention upon himself (or themselves).”
Just about anything could fall under that description. Players absorb verbal abuse from fans all game. I say Kelly’s response was fair retaliation. It’s not like he stood in the endzone and gave the crowd the finger.
The NFL relaxed its celebration rules this season. It’s time for college football to do the same.
This isn’t what you’d file under the category of amazing insight, but Derrick Henry appears to be a much more effective running back right now that DeMarco Murray.
Murray doesn’t have the explosiveness that was evident early last season, while Henry, a second-year pro, bulldozed his way to a 92-yard, one-TD performance against Jacksonville. Whether he’s declared the “starter” or not, Henry should be getting far more snaps than Murray at this point.