Jones ends sensational junior season for Reed City

Phillip Jones had an all-conference season.
Phillip Jones had an all-conference season.

REED CITY — Junior running back Phillip Jones has had plenty of big days this season, and was hoping to help his Reed City Coyotes enjoy a Division 5 semifinal victory on Saturday at Greenville against Swan Valley.

Swan Valley prevailed 29-14 and Reed City’s season ended at 11-2.

But what a football season it was.

Jones had one of his biggest games of the season in the 46-34 regional title win on Nov. 10 over Menominee. He had an 85-yard touchdown return on the kickoff.

It surprised many observers Menominee kicked off to Jones in the first quarter.

“It surprised me too,” he smiled. “I told my other return man next to me ‘no way they’ll kick it to me.’ Be prepared for the ball to come to you. But it came to me and I said, ‘I’ve got a chance so I’ve got to return it.”

Jones was unstoppable most of the game. “I credit my O-line,” he said. “They created holes for me and I couldn’t be more grateful. We were going hard in practice. We knew how important this game was for us, and remembered the outcome from last year.”

The Coyotes had lost to Menominee in the 2016 regional title game 40-14.

“We wanted it more,” he said. “We went out and got it.”

The Coyote defense showed its skill against the Maroons. “They’re a powerhouse running team,” Jones said. “We had to execute. They fumbled the ball which was huge for us. We took advantage of it.”

Jones and his teammates were confident as they enter the semifinal round.

“It’s all about trust and confidence,” Jones said.

He was leading the state in rushing touchdowns. But this didn’t seem to matter after the regional win.

“This is more special,” Jones said.