By Robert Wilson
Pisgah High is known for having outstanding running backs. Guys like Don Ragsdale, T.J. McInnis and Noah Thweatt all ran for 2,000 yards in a season for the Dragons under coach Michael Granberry.
Kyshaun Gates could be the next one.
The 5-foot-11, 185-pound senior running back-strong safety ran for 230 yards and five touchdowns on 29 carries and had eight tackles and three pass breakups and sat out most of the fourth quarter to led Pisgah to a 37-26 victory over Richton Friday night at Richton.
For his outstanding performance, Gates has been named the Priority One Bank/Mississippi Scoreboard Metro Jackson Football Player of the Week.
Gates had 140 yards and two TDs on 21 carries and caught two passes for 57 yards and one TD in Pisgah’s 40-20 loss to Bogue Chitto in the season opener.
Granberry credits his dad, Kenny, for Gates’ success Friday night. Kenny won 204 games at Raymond and Central Hinds and had only three losing seasons in 28 years and now helps his son at Pisgah. The Granberrys has have seven consecutive winning seasons and make the playoffs each year.
“We were late in the second quarter and we needed to score so Dad suggested going to our Thunder set where we put three backs in the backfield and snap it to Kyshaun,” Michael Granberry said. “It worked. So we kept doing it in the second half. Dad used Thunder back when he had great running backs like James Cooper and Dwayne Williams at Raymond (two of the most prolific in Mississippi history), but now we snap it directly to the back instead of the quarterback pitching it back to him. Our young offensive line – we start three freshmen – did a great job opening up holes for Kyshaun and we got going in the second half.”
Grant scored on TD runs of 40, 38, 26, 4 and 2 yards running behind tackles Landon Curry, Landon Dubois, Lucas Reinhardt and Colyn Pace, guards Zach Crapps and Trace Spangler, center Daniel Brown, quarterback Jackson Swales (who lines up as a tight end in thunder) and blocking backs Aiden Swales and Jake Shoemaker.
“Kyshaun had about 700 yards as a sophomore and then had about 700 last year despite a high ankle sprain that bothered him most of the season,” Michael Granberry said. “We are hoping Kyshaun has a big year for us this season.”
Grant is on pace to get 2,000 yards if Pisgah makes the playoffs and plays at least 11 games. Pisgah plays host to Sebastopol, 1-1, Friday night.
Mississippi Scoreboard selects a football player from Hinds, Madison, or Rankin counties each week. Coaches can nominate a player by text or call to Robert Wilson at 601.506.2276 or email [email protected].