Chattanooga Central Purple Pounders are 'blessed' with running back speed

Chattanooga Central Purple Pounders are 'blessed' with running back speed

August 16th, 2019 by Patrick MacCoon in Sports - Preps

Chattanooga Central's Marquis Ray (13) watches his teammates on the field from the sideline as they move the ball downfield during the second half of the Red Bank vs. Central football game Friday, August 24, 2018 at Tom Weathers Field at Red Bank High School in Red Bank, Tennessee. Red Bank edged out Central 23-20 in overtime on a field goal.

Photo by Erin O. Smith

Head coach: Curt Jones (21-33 in six years here)

Returning starters: 5 offensive; 5 defensive

Key players: RB-LB Hunter Jones (5-11, 180); OL-LB Kenny Shadden (6-2, 265); RB-DB Marquis Ray (5-10, 165); RB-DB Bailey Sublet (5-10, 170); K Jameson Willard (6-1, 185).

Chattanooga Central's Jameson Willard (6) punts the ball during the second half of the Red Bank vs. Central football game Friday, August 24, 2018 at Tom Weathers Field at Red Bank High School in Red Bank, Tennessee. Red Bank edged out Central 23-20 in overtime on a field goal.

Chattanooga Central's Jameson Willard (6) punts the ball...

Photo by Erin O. Smith

Team strengths: Division I prospect Hunter Jones, who is getting looks from Central Michigan among others, is an elite speedster on a team filled with quickness. Jones carried the ball 95 times for 902 yards last season and should have even more touches this season in the single wing.

"We are very blessed with the speed our running backs have," Coach Jones said. "We have three to four kids that when they get their hands on the ball can take it to the house. We want to play fast paced, and we also embrace contact."

Team concerns: There is not much depth in the offensive line and Central will call upon unproven players after graduating 17 from last season.

The Purple Pounders, however, are sharing athletes throughout the school, as baseball players, wrestlers and basketball newcomers look to make an instant impact in their gridiron debuts.

Chattanooga Central's Hunter Jones (4) runs the ball during the second half of the Red Bank vs. Chattanooga Central football game Friday, August 24, 2018 at Tom Weathers Field at Red Bank High School in Red Bank, Tennessee. Red Bank edged out Central 23-20 in overtime on a field goal.

Chattanooga Central's Hunter Jones (4) runs the ball...

Photo by Erin O. Smith

Breakout candidates: Ray and Sublet both have a chance to put up large rushing totals, especially with their speed and deception in the offensive scheme.

Season outlook: Curt Jones feels as if this year's team will be more prepared in year two with the coaching staff.

"Last year we came in to a late start as a coaching staff and didn't get to everything the way we wanted to," said Jones, who returned to his former job in April 2018. "The kids have been in the weightroom since November and now know what to expect from us and what they should expect from each other."

Aiming to take down Anderson County and everyone else for the region championship, Central will face powerhouses such as Notre Dame, Tyner and Baylor to prepare.

"Everyone knows it has been Anderson County's region to lose and we didn't have a good showing up there last year," Coach Jones said. "We want to play great teams to prepare for the best and a playoff run."


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