By Robert Wilson
Brandon’s Nate Blount’s nickname is “The Train,” and Blount’s engine got rolling with more steam than it had since last season this past Friday night.
The 5-foot-10, 216-pound senior running back and Louisiana-Monroe commitment gained a season-high 205 yards on 23 carries (8.9 yards per carry) and scored three touchdowns and caught three passes for 35 yards to lead Brandon to a 31-10 victory over Clinton in a non-region, Class 7A game at Brandon.
For his outstanding performance, Blount has been named the Junction Deli/Mississippi Scoreboard Metro Jackson Football Player of the Week.
Blount has 403 yards on 56 carries, an average of 7.2 yards per carry, and scored six TDs for 1-2 Brandon this season. He leads MHSAA Class 7A in rushing yards.
He had 64 yards on nine carries and one TD in a loss to two-time reigning MHSAA Class 5A state champion Picayune in the season opener and had 134 yards on 24 carries and two TDs in a loss to Madison Central in the second game.
Blount stepped up his game even more against Clinton. He ran for an 8-yard TD to give Brandon a 17-10 lead in the second quarter, another 8-yard TD to give Brandon a 24-10 lead in the third quarter, and a 7-yard TD to give Brandon a 31-10 lead in the fourth quarter.
“Nate had a phenomenal game Friday night against Clinton, as he has many times before,” Brandon coach Sam Williams said. “Nate was the heartbeat of the team that night and made a number of special plays that propelled us to victory. Nate has improved his game in every area that he possibly could, and I look forward to seeing how far he can lead our team this year.”
Blount now has six games where he has rushed more than 200 yards. His career high is last season when he had 39 carries for 298 yards and five TDs against Warren Central. His other 200-yard games were 263 yards and six TDs against Northwest Rankin in 2021, 248 yards and five TDs against Northwest Rankin in 2022, 248 yards and 1 TD against Oak Grove in 2021 and 208 yards and two TDs against Starkville in the 2022 6A state championship game.
Blount has been a member of the PriorityOne Bank/Mississippi Scoreboard Metro Jackson Preseason Elite 11 Team for the last two seasons. He was a first-team member of the Metro Jackson team last season.
He gained 2,103 yards on 303 carries – 6.6 yards per carry – and scored 26 touchdowns and helped Brandon to a 12-2 record and a MHSAA Class 6A state runner-up finish last season as a junior.
Blount gained 1,442 yards on 246 carries – 5.9 yards per carry – and scored 17 TDs despite missing three games with an injury and helped Brandon to a 11-3 record and the 6A state runner-up finish two years ago as a sophomore. He was one of three sophomores on the All-Metro Jackson team first team two years ago.
Blount also has Division I offers from Jackson State, Navy, Arkansas State, Nevada-Las Vegas and Mercer.
Brandon plays at Warren Central, 2-1, Friday at 7 p.m. in Vicksburg.
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.
2023 POW winners:
Week One: John White, MRA
Week Two: Jacob Clearman, Tri-County Academy
Week Three: Ryan McCall, Madison Central
Week Four: Brayden Bullock, Central Hinds Academy