Already stop number 22 here on News 25’s 25 Teams in 25 Days just in time for game week at Harrison Central.
From smallest to largest, the Red Rebels could prove to be a major problem for a lot of teams this season thanks to the biggest senior class on tour.
Head Coach Casey Cain said, “To be honest with you, it’s just watching these kids grow for the last four years, and this has been one class I’ve had that’s all stayed together. And the biggest thing is I just can’t wait to see them smile and scream next Friday night, knowing that they actually get to play in 2020 because we have a lot to be thankful for.” Had the 2020 football season gone the way of spring sports due to COVID-19, perhaps no team stood to lose more than Harrison Central. The Red Rebels are absolutely loaded with 27 seniors, having tripled the size of last year’s class of just nine. Wide Receiver Jacobi Moore said, “It really gave us a lot of joy that we were still going to be able to play this season. All we’ve been doing is working hard every day.”
“They know that 2020 has been a crazy year, and I say hey, this is the best year for y’all to go ahead and be some of the best group of seniors that’s come through HC, and that’s kind of what they want to do.”
Sky’s the limit for the Red Rebels and their senior class of 2021 as they return eight starters on both sides of the ball. One of them is a three star wide receiver by the name of Jacobi Moore, who finally committed to Mississippi State earlier this month over seven other division I schools long after receiving his initial offer from the Bulldogs as an up and coming freshman. Linebacker/ running back Raymond Collins said, “We’ve got a quarterback, we’ve got a running back, we’ve got a defense, we’ve got the best wide receiver on the Coast.”
“Jacobi has great speed. He’s 6’3″. He’s long. Great hands. All the intangibles you see in an SEC receiver, he has.”
“They’ve got all my trust. Ever since they first offered me and brought me to their school and showed me around campus.”
Despite Harrison Central’s seemingly endless talent, the Red Rebels were still a year away in 2019, finishing with an overall record of 5-6 and a region 4 mark of 3-4. “My freshman year, we just didn’t finish the job. Last year, there wasn’t enough leadership. And this year, we’ve just got it all.”
“We had the worst injury bug in the history of my 24 years of coaching. But I felt like the last three weeks of the season we kind of got some guys back and we had a freshman quarterback the last three ball games and ended up winning two of our last three, and then we won the last game of the year against Ocean Springs and we weren’t picked to win and I feel like we ended on a good note.”
Silver lining aside, pretty hard not to look back on Harrison Central’s second district clash of the season. In hindsight, the Red Rebels missed out on a second straight trip to the class 6A playoffs by just one game, more specifically a 28-26 loss at Biloxi. “That first loss really motivated us, like I said before. And that was really all.”
“I don’t ever look back in the past. I just look to the future. We’re going to kind of correct our mistakes, but there’s so many games and plays you can always say, well, this or that. But that’s just football.”
Whereas a lot of Coast schools already have their first taste of Friday Night Lights this season, the Red Rebels were one of the few teams that didn’t play a jamboree instead, waiting for this Friday’s season opener at South Pike.
The Red Rebels lost their Port City Bowl game against Stone County to start the season as well as their August 28th game at Petal and their September 18th home game against Slidell.
This Friday’s season opener at South Pike was a late addition to the schedule set for 7 p.m. kick off.