Younger Jones brother helps Edna defense keep up
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IF YOU GO
YOAKUM BULLDOGS AT EDNA COWBOYS
7:30 p.m., Friday
Radio: KYKM, 92.5 FM & KIOX, 96.1 FM
EDNA - DeRodrick Jones wasn't sure what to expect from his younger brother.
DeRodrick Jones broke a bone in his foot during a preseason practice and DeOntae Jones moved from rover to replace his brother at free safety.
"I told him to keep working hard and he had to know what to do," said DeRodrick, a senior. "He had to do the best he could. He's shown me a lot. He impressed me a lot."
DeOntae, a sophomore, has filled in admirably, intercepting an area-leading three passes while helping Edna get off to a 2-1 start heading into Friday night's game against Yoakum (2-1) at Cowboy Memorial Stadium.
"The first game I was nervous," DeOntae admitted. "I just tried to play hard and do the little things right."
DeOntae Jones moved up to the varsity late last season and played running back in the fourth quarter of Edna's final district game against Hempstead.
But he had never played a varsity down on defense until he took the field for the Cowboys' season opener against Needville.
"The one thing I noticed was they have some big players," DeOntae said. "I have to stay mentally focused on every play."
Edna coach Mike Pierce has been pleased with the younger Jones' performance.
"He's been a very pleasant surprise back there at free safety," Pierce said. "He's done really well, especially as a sophomore. He's really stepped up and done a great job for us back there."
DeOntae Jones intercepted two passes in the Edna's 56-0 loss to Refugio.
He returned an interception 33 yards for a touchdown in the fourth quarter to seal the Cowboys' 41-28 win over Goliad last week.
"I was reading the quarterback," DeOntae said. "I was playing back deep and I could see everything."
Pierce has witnessed some of what he expected from the Edna defense.
But he knows the Cowboys have to eliminate some critical breakdowns to reach their potential.
"We're playing well, but we're not being consistent," Pierce said. "We'll play really well and then we'll give up a big play. That happened a lot in the Refugio game. We played well three or four plays and then we'd allow a big play. Some of that is technique work. We've been working on that a lot."
Yoakum coach Brent Kornegay has been impressed by what he's seen of DeOntae Jones and his teammates.
"He's a good athlete," Kornegay said. "They have some kids who can run and he's one of them."
The Cowboys are hoping to get DeRodrick Jones back for the start of District 14-2A, Division I play.
Pierce is looking forward to having the brothers on the field at the same time.
"We're going to find a place for DeOntae to play on defense," he said. "When we get our free safety back, we're going to have to move him somewhere."
NOTES• Yoakum started the season with wins over Columbus and Sinton before losing to Hallettsville, a district opponent of Edna, last week. "I'd like to see more consistency," Kornegay said. "We did some good things and then have a turnover at the most inopportune time."