All Area high school teams an­nounced in foot­ball

In­tu­itive Jones leads Scots to a suc­cess­ful de­fense of state ti­tle

The Dallas Morning News - - Front Page - By MICHAEL FLOREK Staff Writer mflo­rek@dal­las­ Twit­ter: @michaelflo­rek

High­land Park’s John Stephen Jones and Mans­field Legacy’s Jalen Cat­alon lead the line­ups as the SportsDay 2017 All Area foot­ball teams are an­nounced.

About four and a half years ago, High­land Park coach Randy Allen came home from watch­ing a mid­dle school foot­ball game and turned to his wife.

He told her that there was this eighth-grader who just had “it,” and that she needed to watch him play. So the two went out and watched a young John Stephen Jones sling the ball around.

“He just had a way of dis­tribut­ing the ball, get­ting rid of the ball, find­ing the open re­ceiver,” Allen said.

Over the last two years, the state saw what Allen saw those years ago. Jones helped High­land Park to back-to-back state cham­pi­onships for the first time the school’s sto­ried his­tory, earn­ing the ti­tle game’s of­fen­sive MVP award both sea­sons.

But this sea­son Jones took his game to a new level, com­plet­ing more than 70 per­cent of passes for 4,911 yards and 61 touch­downs while throw­ing just four in­ter­cep­tions.

Con­sis­tently, Jones es­caped rush­ers, bought time and found a re­ceiver just be­fore be­ing hit.

“It’s like a sixth sense,” Allen said. “He’s the best I’ve ever seen at get­ting away from the rush and bail­ing out of there and find­ing some­body open.”

Jones said it’s just a mat­ter of play­ing a lot of foot­ball. The son of Cow­boys ex­ec­u­tive vice pres­i­dent Stephen Jones has been around the game since he’s been born.

“You kind of feel your way around the pocket and you know your guys around you, and when a guy is com­ing you can kind of feel it,” Jones said.

The 5-11, 190-pound quar­ter­back has schol­ar­ship of­fers from Arkansas, SMU and Texas Tech but is still un­de­cided.

“I’m still try­ing to fig­ure out what works best for me,” Jones said.

Wher­ever he goes, his legacy at High­land

Park is se­cure.

Louis DeLuca/Staff Pho­tog­ra­pher

High­land Park quar­ter­back John Stephen Jones is the SportsDay 2017 All-Area Foot­ball Of­fen­sive Player of the Year. He threw 61 touch­down passes and led High­land Park to a sec­ond con­sec­u­tive state ti­tle.

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