By Robert Wilson
Centreville Academy coach Bill Hurst is the winningest high school football coach in Mississippi history and has been a head coach since 1975.
But Hurst probably has never had an opposing player do what Central Hinds Academy senior Kent McArthur did Friday night.
The 5-foot-10, 165-pound McArthur intercepted three passes – returning two for touchdowns – and caught a touchdown pass to lead Central Hinds to a 37-6 victory over Centreville at Central Hinds in Raymond.
McArthur had interception returns of 100 and 65 yards for TDs, caught an 8-yard TD pass, made four tackles, kicked an extra point attempt, and returned one punt for 12 yards.
For his outstanding performance, McArthur has been named the Junction Deli Metro Jackson Football Player of the Week.
McArthur made a diving interception at the Centreville 45 in the first quarter, then caught the TD pass to end that drive. He got his second interception and returned it 65 yards for a score in the second quarter. McArthur picked off his third pass and returned it 100 yards in the third quarter. In addition to making four tackles and returning a punt for 12 yards, McArthur was called upon to kick an extra point attempt and made it.
“He helped us early in the game with his diving interception, then finished it with a great touchdown catch,” Central Hinds coach Lance Teasley said. “He made a great play and return for his 65-yard interception return and broke a lot of tackles to score. And he made another great play with his 100-yard interception return. We normally go for two, but we wanted to try an extra point, so someone suggested Kent and he went out there and banked it in off the right upright. It was quite a night for Kent. He is a super athlete and a good kid who has puts in the work. It was great to see him have a special night.”
McArthur starts at wide receiver and cornerback and returns kickoffs and punts. He has 18 tackles, 3 for loss, 3 interceptions (two for TDs), 4 pass breakups, passed for a TD, caught a TD pass, and kicked an extra point for 4-2 Central Hinds this season.
McArthur didn’t play football as a freshman or sophomore but came out last year as a junior and started at wide receiver and cornerback. He finished the season with three interceptions and helped Central Hinds to an 8-3 record.
He also plays baseball, basketball, soccer and runs track at Central Hinds.
Central Hinds plays host to Oak Forest, La., Academy in a MAIS Class 5A, District 3 game Friday night at Raymond.