Jones, Hudson, Rufus, Huntley named week’s best


With Wilson Hall and Orangeburg Prep tied at 14-14 with a little less than 10 minutes left in the first half, the Barons' Harrison Hudson grabbed the first of his three interceptions, and two plays later Wilson Hall took a lead it would not relinquish en route to a 31-21 victory.

Hudson's two second-half picks helped preserve the win, with one of them thwarting an OP drive inside the Wilson Hall 5-yard line. Hudson broke up two more OP passes and recorded four tackles in the winning effort.

For his role, Hudson earned The Sumter Item Defensive Player of the Week honors.

"It just kind of fell into place," said Hudson, a junior who moved to the cornerback position from the outside linebacker position he played last season. "I wasn't really thinking about it - it just sort of happened. That was my first big game."

"The three interceptions Friday night were huge. We scored after all three of them, and they came at big times," said Wilson Hall head coach Adam Jarecki, whose team improved to 2-1 with the victory. "He just put himself in the right position and came through."

Joining Hudson in this week's honor roll are Lake City wide receiver Nicholas Jones as Offensive Player of the Week, Thomas Sumter Academy's Richard Huntley as Special Teams Player of the Week and Crestwood's Zyricq Rufus as Offensive Lineman of the Week.

Hudson, who also plays split end on offense, said he prefers playing defense.

"I feel like it's less on my head on defense, less thinking and you can just fly around," he said. "It's just more natural on defense, I feel."

Hudson said he had a chance to experience playing defensive back last year in practice and backup situations, and Jarecki said Hudson has adjusted well to the move from linebacker.

"It's a whole new role for him, and he's still learning the position, but he had a nice game Friday night, he said."

For Lake City, Jones hauled in 11 catches for 264 yards and a pair of touchdowns in Lake City's 42-34 loss to Myrtle Beach's St. James.

"He had a heck of a game," said Lake City head coach Terrell Fleming. "He's a sophomore, and he's highly talented and he had a break-out game for us. He's been catching the ball all year and he's going to be a great player for us."

Fleming said Jones, only a sophomore, is thriving in his team's offensive scheme. "He's one of the most explosive guys we've got. This offense fits him, and he's going to be really good for us," Fleming said. "He had a good freshman year and he's going to be good this year."

Huntley accounted for close to 300 all-purpose yards for Thomas Sumter in its game against Spartanburg Christian game, including 105 yards and a touchdown on two kickoff returns, nine receptions for 166 yards and two more touchdowns and 27 yards on five rushes.

"He's definitely our special player of the week," said Thomas Sumter head coach Troy Kessinger, whose team fell to 1-3 on the season with the loss. "He's very athletic, and he's maybe one of the best playmakers I've ever had when he gets that ball in his hands. We got it to him 14 times on offense, which isn't a crazy amount, and he had almost 200 yards of offense on those, so he had a big day."

Huntley was a big-play threat almost every time he touched the football. Kessenger said the team is starting to recognize and respond to his presence.

"He can take it to the end zone just about any time if they don't cover him up, so he's getting a good feel for it," Kessinger said. "I think the other players are starting to block even harder for him out there because they know, one step and he can be gone. He's special."

For Crestwood, Rufus graded out at 85 percent and notched six pancake blocks in the Knights' 21-20 loss to Manning.

"It was a good, physical game for him, and he played very well," said Crestwood head coach Roosevelt Nelson. "We're proud of the way he's coming along, and he's definitely one of our better linemen. He had some more physical blocks and finished them off -- did a good job with it."