By Robert Wilson
Jerious Norwood is considered the greatest player in Brandon High football history. The electric running back produced 8,027 yards and 92 touchdowns in his brilliant high school career from 1999-2001 and was a high school All-American.
But not even Norwood, who went to become the all-time leading rusher in Mississippi State history and played in NFL and CFL, had a rushing performance in one game as a sophomore as Brandon sophomore running back Nate Blount did Friday night.
The 5-foot-10, 223-pound Blount gained 260 yards on 36 carries and scored one touchdown to lead Brandon to a 24-17, Class 6A-Region 3 victory over defending MHSAA Class 6A state champion and nationally ranked Oak Grove at Brandon.
For his outstanding performance, Blount has been named the Junction Deli/Mississippi Scoreboard Metro Jackson Football Player of the Week.
Blount’s performance led Brandon to its sixth straight victory and improved the Bulldogs to 6-2 overall and 4-0 in region play. Oak Grove, which came in ranked No. 83 in the nation by High School Football America, had its 19-game winning streak against MHSAA teams stopped.
First-year Brandon coach Sam Williams decided to use Blount as a quarterback, just like Dan Davis did with Norwood two decades ago, and Blount continued to produce yards for the Bulldogs, many of those runs breaking multiple, would be Oak Grove tacklers for extra yards.
“Nate had a phenomenal game Friday night,” Williams said.
“We started using a package this week with Nate and (junior running back) Jarvis (Durr) at quarterback. Nate is such a natural leader, and he is willing to do whatever it take for the team to win. On Friday night, he did just that. Most of Nate’s 36 carries were coming off direct snaps. He showed great maturity managing the clock at the end of the game and it was his physicality that wore Oak Grove down in the four-quarter battle. I am just so proud of the player he is becoming, especially when you pair it with the fact that he is a phenomenal young man and leader.”
Blount has gained 963 yards – an average of 120.4 per game – on 176 carries (5.5 yards per carry) and scored nine TDs this season.
Brandon plays at Northwest Rankin, 2-6 overall and 2-3 in region play, Friday night.