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Thomas Heyward High School
Ridgeland

 

Thomas Heyward football shows no signs of slowing

By David Shelton
Senior Writer

Ridgeland – The 2018 football team at Thomas Heyward started the season with a bang and have showed no signs of slowing down as the final month of the regular season unfolds.
A 42-0 win over Northside Christian on September 28 improved the Rebels to 7-0 overall and 2-0 in conference play. It was Thomas Heyward’s fifth game of scoring at least 40 points this season. The Rebels have out-scored their opponents, 316-91, in seven outings.
The season began in mid-August with a win over Brookhaven Academy of Mississippi, 49-28. That game was played in Birmingham, Alabama.
The Rebels returned to the Palmetto State with a 33-21 win over a much-improved Hilton Head Christian Academy squad, then knocked off John Paull II, 56-19. A hard-fought 23-14 win over Colleton Prep was followed by wins over Hilton Head Prep (62-6), Northwood Academy (51-3) and Northside Christian.
The keys to success are a strong and balanced running game with a good defense. The Rebels are averaging 376.5 yards rushing per game this season, including a 9.6 yard average per carry. The yardage is spread among a host of skill players. Sophomore JR Patterson topped 700 yards in the win over Northside. Patterson is averaging 11.1 yards per carry and has eight touchdowns.
Senior Trey Pusha is over 600 yards rushing with seven touchdowns and averages 16.1 yards per touch. He also has a punt return for a touchdown. Senior River Pender and junior Bobby Payne each have more than 300 yards rushing with Pender averaging eight yards per carry and Payne getting about 15 yards per touch.
Quarterback Jacob Masters adds to the running totals at nearly 300 total yards.
Leading the way along both trenches is a deep group led by seniors Evan Brazil, Timber Hexamer and Noah Ehlers. Others working along the lines include juniors Dalton Hayes, Michael Bacon and Josh Arzillo, and sophomores Therion Cannon and John Hewlett.
Pusha is a team leader defensively as well with more than 50 tackles and five interceptions. Pender, along with senior Joseph Gibson and junior Josh Gobel have more than 30 tackles.
Senior end/linebacker Bryce Tillotson is the leading tackler, averaging more than nine tackles per outing. Hexamer has four sacks, as does sophomore Jaterius Pusha, while senior CJ Cleland has three interceptions.

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