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San Diego Player of the Week : Jones Got off to Running Start and Hasn't Stopped

October 22, 1986|JEFFREY MILLER

Pierre Jones has been turning heads since his first game at Sweetwater High School.

In his debut last September, Jones--who had just transferred from Morse--returned the opening kickoff for a touchdown.

That was the first of his five touchdowns that day--two kickoff returns, two punt returns and a 50-yard run.

Jones--The Times' Player of the Week is no longer the new kid, but he's still attracting attention. Last Friday, he ran for 234 yards and two touchdowns as the undefeated Red Devils beat Hilltop, 28-0.

"I give the credit to my line," Jones said. "It gives me 10 yards, then, once I get to the open field, I can outrun people."

So far this year, the only people who have been able to stop Jones are officials. Against Castle Park, Jones would have had five touchdowns. However, three of his touchdowns were called back and 120 yards were erased because of penalties.

"I think they got called back because it was homecoming and everybody was giving their all," Jones said. "Sometimes when you do that, you get penalties. It doesn't bother me as long as we win."

Said Sweetwater Coach Gene Alim: "Pierre has a great attitude toward those situations. He was clapping his hands getting back to the huddle. He's the first guy to get back in the huddle and pat people on the butt and help them get ready for the next play."

Jones' unflappable attitude has helped him withstand the pressure of replacing Terry Rodgers, the former Sweetwater star who plays for Nebraska.

"Everybody thinks I'm supposed to do well because of Terry. I don't do well for Terry, I do well for me."

Nonetheless, comparisons are unavoidable.

"Terry was stronger than Pierre, but Pierre is shiftier," Alim said. "He's what you call a home run player, one of those guys who can score at anytime from anywhere on the field."

Jones, who was born in Chicago, said he learned some of his moves by watching the Bears on television.

"My dad always talked to me about Gale Sayers and Walter Payton," he said. "They'd run all over the field before they'd score. I have that same kind of style."

Pierre Jones

Sweetwater High

Position: Running Back

Height, Weight, Class: 5-9, 175, Jr.

Last Week: Rushed 24 times for 234 yards and two touchdowns in Sweetwater's 28-0 victory over Hilltop.

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