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HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL: Jones gave Chargers a much-needed jolt in first win
There’s much more positivity surrounding the Chancellor football program this week.
The Chargers are coming off their first win of the season, and they have this week off to prepare for a critical five-game stretch.
Better yet, Chancellor (1–4) may have found a playmaker in the backfield to help carry an offense that struggled to find consistency during its 0–4 start.
Chargers coach Bob Oliver always felt junior Jamal Jones could be a workhorse type of back, and Jones may have taken a big step in that direction Friday when he ran for 157 yards and three touchdowns on 19 carries in a 37–3 victory over Millbrook.
Chancellor went through the training camp and the early part of the season wondering who would replace the production lost when tailback Dominic Kaopua, last season’s Battlefield District player of the year, graduated.
“I think Jamal answered that question in game five,” Oliver said Monday.
The 6-foot-2, 190-pound Jones followed the gigantic holes created by the Chargers’ improving offensive line and churned out tough yardage when defenders caught up to him.
“He had a lot of runs last Friday night where he had two or three guys hanging on him, and he was still going and getting more yards, getting more yards,” Oliver said.
Jones ran with a sense of purpose against Millbrook. The entire Chancellor football team played with major motivation.
Starting 0–4—despite doing that against teams with a combined 16–4 record—is not something that sits well with a prideful program like Chancellor.
The entire team knew it needed to get things going to prove it was better than its record indicated.
“We had a great week of practice, and it was our homecoming game, and we got tired of people talking about how bad we were and how good we used to be,” Jones said. “We played like the game meant something to us, and you could tell from the first snap of the ball that our team was fired up and we were playing from the inside of our hearts.”
Jones, who rushed for a combined 82 yards and no touchdowns on 31 carries in the first three games, said his confidence is at an all-time high. He credits the relationship he has with the offensive line for that.
His first carry against Millbrook went for only one yard, but he went back to the huddle and he and his blockers shared a sense of confidence that they could consistently move the ball against the Pioneers. They continued to work together and got the job done.
Senior offensive lineman Steven Moss, a highly regarded recruit who has committed to play next year at Virginia, said he and Jones are starting to build a similar rapport as he and Kaopua did during their prolific seasons together.
“Jamal is always like, ‘Steven I’m coming right behind you,’ and I’m like, ‘All right, Jamal,’” said Moss, who has moved all around the offensive line this season and seems to have settled at guard.
Like Jones, Moss is confident Friday’s win is the start of a second-half push to the playoffs. With the offense clicking like it was against Millbrook, the Chargers know they can be a dangerous team.
“I played with Dom since my sophomore year, so me and him were like brothers,” Moss said of his relationship with Kaopua, who’s now at Randolph–Macon College. “But me and Jamal are slowly growing into that, and I’m ready to finish out the season, go to the playoffs and win some championships with Jamal.”
Nathan Warters: 540/374-5442