West quarterback Arnez Jones wasn't about to be denied of a victory Friday night.
He literally ran all over North, carrying the ball 47 times for 254 yards and scoring three of the Pioneers' four touchdowns in a 28-13 City League victory over North at Carpenter Stadium.
To make things even sweeter, Jones returned a kickoff 91 yards for West's first score. He also scored on runs of 19 and 3 yards. The Pioneers' other touchdown came on a 19-yard pass from Jones to Daquan Brown.
"That's a big game," West coach Heath Henderson said afterward. "That's a lot of carries for a little back (5-foot-8, 150 pounds)."
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North, which was marking its homecoming, had hopes of pulling out a victory in the battle of winless teams. The Redskins managed a touchdown on their first possession, when sophomore quarterback Danny Jones hit junior tight end Nathan Muci over the middle, and Muci carried the ball into the end zone for a 23-yard TD.
But on the ensuing kickoff, Arnez Jones took the ball at the West 9 and headed up the middle of the field, racing past North defenders and eluding kicker Ian Kelley for the touchdown.
"I told the team before, 'If I get the ball on a kickoff return, that's one of my specialties,' " Jones said. "It's so easy for me that when I get that ball (on a kickoff), I think I'm going to score."
Jones said he was surprised that North didn't kick the ball away from him.
"So I took it to the house," he said. "That was my first one of the year."
The Pioneers missed the conversion try, and North kept a slim 7-6 lead.
That didn't last long, because a snap from the North 7 eluded Danny Jones and bounded into the end zone. North recovered, but West gained two points on a safety with 8:42 before halftime.
The Pioneers never trailed after that, thanks to Arnez Jones' smooth execution and running. He found the holes and darted through them to keep West drives alive.
Jones rushed 23 times in the first half and picked up 161 yards. His 14-yard scamper with 5:35 remaining in the half gave West a 14-7 halftime lead, and North never managed to regain the lead.
North will try to find a victory in district play against South, Northwest and Campus. Coach Kelly Sayahnejad said Arnez Jones' performance was impressive, and he said West did a good job of getting him the ball. The kickoff return was a key, he said.
"It changes the momentum of the game; there's no question about that," he said. "We've just got to do a better job on our coverage and find a way to get down there and make a play."
West6 8 6 8 — 28 North7 0 6 0 — 13
N — Muci 23 pass from Jones (Kelley kick) 3:09
W — A. Jones 91 kickoff return (kick failed) 2:52
W — Safety, D. Jones fell on bad snap in end zone 8:42
W — A. Jones 19 run (run failed) 5:35
N — L. Williams 2 run (kick failed) 8:56
W — Brown 34 pass from A. Jones (run failed) 1:05
W — A. Jones 3 run (J. Robinson pass from A. Jones) 5:50
Rushing — West, A. Jones 47-254, Brown 8-7, Hardy 1-20, Tate 1-0. North, L. Williams 13-55, D. Franklin 2-47, Jones 1-1, F. Williams 6-(-2).
Passing — West, A. Jones 3-6-0-80. North, D. Jones 4-10-2-78.
Receiving — West, J. Robinson 3-38, T. Robinson 1-8, Brown 1-34. North, Gonzalez 2-15, Muci 1-23, L. Williams 1-40.