This year, the most improved team in region 4 class 6A is Harrison Central. Likewise, the News 25 student athlete of the week has a big hand in that turn around as the quarterback of perhaps the most improved passing offense on the entire Gulf Coast. His name is Dayln Anderson and he came through for his Red Rebels yet again in week 11 against D’Iberville.
It’s a name that’s been called a lot this season, 21 times through 10 starts with three of those touchdowns coming in Dayln Anderson’s biggest home game during his lone year at Harrison Central. “First off it was senior night, so we just came out here and did what we had to do and our coaches had us prepared all through the week.”
Head coach Casey Cain said, “Last week was just senior night, last home game and guys just wanted to make sure their last regular season game together on the field could come out victorious.”
A West Harrison transfer, Anderson wasn’t part of Coach Cain’s original freshman class, but little did that matter when the first-year Red Rebel was busy lighting up the visiting Warriors for 276 yards and those three scores minus an interception as well as 22 ticks on the ground.
Oddly enough, Harrison Central only went into the break with a 6-0 lead. “When we went into halftime, Coach was like we know we can score, we’re just not scoring. And the defense was playing good; we still played good at the end. Third quarter, I don’t know, I guess it was just time to score.”
Both teams took that to heart in the third quarter, combining for 42 points during that 12 minute stretch. At one point, D’Iberville scored 21 unanswered points to which the Red Rebels responded with the final 13 points on the board, capped off by Anderson’s 45 yard go-ahead bomb to Isaiah Atkins. “It’s great, knowing we’ve got all these weapons. Knowing I can run, pass, anything. I’ve got a great line, love my line. And running backs, I’ve got five of those. Wide receivers, we’ve got a coach that is on them all the time. Just know we can score at will.”
“Dayln’s biggest thing is he’s a dual-threat quarterback. And the name of the game of football is you’ve got to be able to convert on third downs. And with us being able to pass, whether it’s he finds somebody open or he’s able to use his legs because of the pass, we’ve been so much more productive and that’s one reason why where we are today.”
Right now, the Red Rebels are one win away from clinching their first home playoff game since 2015 thanks in large part to Harrison Central’s newest member to its class of 2019. “Dayln is a kid that makes good grades, he’s good in the community, he’s a good teammate, he’s well-respected, he does the things on and off the field in a good manner.”
“Yeah, people were doubting us in the beginning. But during the season we just got closer and closer and now we’re like family like I always say.”
Harrison Central finished with a district mark of 2-5 last year, compared to its current mark of 5-1 heading into the regular season finale at Ocean Springs. The winner of that game locks up the home playoff game.