By Robert Wilson
Ridgeland senior Richard Mays, Jr. might be the most versatile high school football player in Mississippi.
He does about everything you can do on a football field for his Titans, and last week might have been his best performance of this career in one of the biggest games of his career.
He caught eight passes for 133 yards and three touchdowns in Ridgeland’s 33-29 victory over previously undefeated Neshoba Central Friday night at Philadelphia in a battle between two of the top Class 5A teams in Mississippi.
The 6-foot-2, 200-pound Mays, who has verbally commited to Louisiana Monroe, also punted three times for a 47.7-yard average, had three tackles, including one for loss, and had one punt return for 7 yards against Neshoba Central.
For his outstanding performance, Mays has been named the Junction Deli/Mississippi Scoreboard Metro Jackson Football Player of the Week.
This is the third time and second consecutive week a Ridgeland player has named Player of the Week. Ridgeland senior quarterback Zy McDonald was named the Player of the Week last week for the second time this season.
Mays has caught 40 passes for 826 yards and 10 TDs this season for 6-1 Ridgeland. He also has 16 tackles, two for loss, two sacks, two hurries and broke up one pass. Mays has punted 11 times for a 41.5 yard average, returned one kickoff for 24 yards and three punts for 18 yards.
Mays caught 42 passes for 627 yards and nine TDs to help Ridgeland an 8-4 record last season, the Titans’ first winning season since 2013.
“Richard had a phenomenal game,” Ridgeland coach Sam Williams said. “He was all over the field. He was an ironman all night and very rarely came off of the field. Richard put in the kind of effort that you put in when you refuse to allow your team to lose. Every time something bad happened or it looked like momentum may swing, Richard found a way.”