Kenan's Jones sidelined with another concussion
By Ryan Hanchett
Published in Sports on September 1, 2011 1:47 PM
James Kenan's Parker Jones knows injuries are a part of football.
The senior quarterback suffered his third significant injury in less than a year last week against Jones Senior and will be sidelined for a minimum of four weeks while doctors monitor his progress.
After two concussions in 2010, Jones suffered a "stinger" against the Trojans. No conclusive diagnosis has been made about the severity of the injury, but because it deals with the head and neck both the coaches and team doctors want to be careful.
"Parker is going to be out a while, but he is a tough kid and he will bounce back," said Tigers' head coach Ken Avent Jr. "We aren't really sure the extent of the injury yet, but the doctors are looking at him and we will see how it goes."
The Tigers lose both Jones' natural ability to throw the football as well as his ability to extend plays with his feet in their pro-style offense. In two games this season, Jones has passed for 387 yards and two touchdowns. He has also added 74 yards on the ground as the result of 23 carries.
"He is the guy that leads this offense for sure," said Avent Jr. "We built our system around our senior quarterback and he has been productive for us."
Turning the ball over to backup signal caller Marcelias Sutton will force Avent Jr. to tweak his offensive scheme. Sutton does not possess the same passing ability that Jones does, but boasts better quickness outside of the pocket.
Sutton rushed the ball 23 times for 145 yards in the Tigers' loss to Jones Senior. He did not complete a pass in four attempts.
It is not the first time that a backup has had to take the reins from Jones.
Following a stellar regular season in 2010, Jones suffered his second concussion of the season in the Tigers' opening-round playoff win against Union. Jones missed the second-round game at Goldsboro and the Tigers fell to the Cougars 42-13. In that game, second string quarterback Jonathan Webster passed for 114 yards and ran for 34 yards.
Due to the time of Jones' injury in 2010, the Tigers plugged Webster into the backfield and tried to maintain the same offensive identity. With so much of the 2011 season still to be played, Avent Jr. is weighing his offensive options.
"A quarterback change really changes everything that we do," said Avent Jr. "But we know that Marcelias is going to come in and do everything he can to help us move the football. He is that type of hard-working kid."
The road to offensive fluidity will not be an easy one.
Following game with Southern Wayne and Jones Senior (both losses), the Tigers' schedule continues a tough stretch with perennial 2-A powerhouse East Duplin on Friday. Avent Jr.'s team much-needed bye week before Tri-County 1-A Conference play begins at Union on Sept. 26.
"When you have a team on the schedule that is one of the best 2-A teams in the state it makes a short week even shorter," said Avent Jr. "We missed practice again on Monday because of the damage from Hurricane Irene so there are a lot of unknowns that we have to work out in just three days of practice."
Kickoff is 7:30 p.m. in Beulaville.