Friday Night Hero: Salisbury's Dejoun Jones
Published 12:00 am Wednesday, October 5, 2011
By Ronnie Gallagher
SALISBURY — Salisbury coach Joe Pinyan had a decision to make.
Fullback Max Allen was out for Friday’s CCC opener at West Davidson. Who would replace him?
Pinyan mulled over his choices. In the past, Brian Bauk, Justin Ruffin and Keion Adams had all seen time there. He could bring up jayvee Travon Ellis.
So what did Pinyan do?
He turned to a senior defensive back.
And all Dejoun Jones did was run for 134 yards on nine carries and score on a 14-yard run in Salisbury’s 59-0 CCC win at West Davidson.
Pinyan was quick to point out Jones was also at his customary defensive back spot, making big plays.
But it was offense that had Jones standing out as a stand-in.
Jones remembered one block in particular that sprung Dominique Dismuke, who scored four touchdowns.
“He was like, ‘Man, this is like old times,’ ” Jones smiled.
For the record, those two combined for 296 of the Hornets’ 385 yards rushing.
Jones’ performance shouldn’t come as a surprise to long-time Hornet fans. Don’t forget he came to Salisbury as a running back. When he was a freshman, he was thought to be a future starter. But he was needed elsewhere.
“Dejoun unselfishly went over to play defensive back,” Pinyan said.
It didn’t take long for Jones to have Salisbury’s fans yelling his name. He quickly ripped off a 48-yard run.
“I was thinking, ‘Here we go again,’” Jones grinned. “I was excited and happy to play running back. It was like me and Dominique on jayvee again — that Batman and Robin thing.”
Jones still played on defense and it took a bit of a toll going both ways. When he caught a pass and was tackled out of bounds near Pinyan, he didn’t immediately rise.
“I was out of wind,” Jones laughed. “But I got up and went back out there.”
At halftime, Pinyan found Jones sitting alone collecting his thoughts — and his breath.
“He told me, ‘Coach, I got a feeling I’m going to be bad tired in the morning,’ ” Pinyan said. “He laughed about it. He’s a fun guy to be around.”
Pinyan knew Jones would be in the backfield when the week began.
“We shared him,” Pinyan said. “Defense had him on Monday and we had him on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.”
Jones began the game wearing two bands, one on his belt and one on his wrist to help him remember the plays.
“Things have changed since I was over there on offense,” Jones said.
One thing that hasn’t changed is his running ability. He powered over Green Dragons. He raced around Green Dragons.
“Dejoun ran extremely well,” Pinyan said.
So well, in fact, Pinyan was scratching his head afterward.
“I’m starting to wonder why (the offense) ever let him go,” he said.
Just the CCC’s luck. Pinyan has a stable of running backs already and now he has another one — just in case.
“If they need me, I’m there,” Jones said.