Photo by Chris Todd

By Robert Wilson

       Tri-County Academy’s all-purpose football player – Jacob Clearman – didn’t play very well in the Tri-County’s jamboree earlier this month.

       In fact, the junior wide receiver-defensive back-punter-punt returner texted Tri-County coach Philip Wasson and said it would never happen again.

       The 5-foot-8, 145-pound Clearman put on a show with 239 all-purpose yards and one touchdown in MAIS Class 4A Tri-County’s 47-6 victory over Class 5A Simpson Friday night in the season opener for both teams at Tri-County in Flora.

       Clearman caught 10 passes for 101 yards and one touchdown, had one run for 4 yards, had three tackles and returned an interception for a 42-yard gain, returned six punts for 92 yards, and punted twice for a 41-yard average.

       For his outstanding performance, Clearman has been named the Junction Deli/Mississippi Scoreboard Metro Jackson Football Player of the Week.

       “With only four starters coming back on defense and five on offense, Jacob knows he has to step up his game on both sides of the ball,” Wasson said. “Jacob had seven interceptions last year and he is the leading receiver that’s returning with 427 yards and five touchdowns. We were pretty hard on the players in film, and we made sure we got their attention (after the jamboree). Jacob had his best performance and played lights out. He can play multiple spots and that’s what makes him so dangerous, it’s hard to follow him around on the field with one guy. Jacob played with high energy, and it rubbed off on the team.”

       The game Friday was a matchup between two teams who were state runners-up in their respective classes last season, and it was expected to be a tight game. But Clearman and his teammates took control early and never trailed. He caught a 9-yard TD pass from junior quarterback Bryce Warriner to give Tri-County a 16-6 lead with 10 minutes, 45 seconds to play in the second quarter. Clearman had six catches 42 yards at halftime.

       Tri-County visits Riverfield, La., Academy Friday night in Rayville, La.

       Clearman also plays basketball, baseball, track and field and golf for Tri-County. He started at point guard in basketball and at centerfield in baseball last year.

       Clearman is the son of Paul Clearman and Kristi Jones. Paul played football, basketball and baseball at Neshoba Central High and baseball at East Central Community College. Jacob’s older brother, Caleb, played basketball and baseball at Tri-County and graduated two years ago. His younger brother, John Martin Clearman, is in the eighth grade at Tri-County and plays football, basketball and golf.

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.

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