Sports Spotlight - Northern Nash’s Jones leads Knights to first state final appearance since 2002

“Football is my heart. I really love the sport. I put my all into it.”
Published: Dec. 6, 2022 at 6:02 PM EST
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For Northern Nash senior Keno Jones quarterback has almost always been his spot.

“Football is my heart. I really love the sport,” says Northern Nash senior quarterback Keno Jones, “I put my all into it.”

Sophomore season though he played on defense waiting his turn.

“Starting quarterback was the senior. So I just let him play, get his play time in. Let him have a good season,” says Jones, “and I just did what I had to do on defense.”

When he got his shot, Keno took hold as a junior, and grabbed his role as the leader of the Knights.

“He’s always had the physical attributes to go with it,” says Northern Nash head coach Andrew Farriss, “But when you have the intangibles of leadership that’s what really sets him apart.”

Keno has led them to an undefeated season, 15 and 0 so far.

“I found out that I can’t get down at times cause they’ll get down,” says Jones, “If it is a tough game, I got to be uplifting. That plays a big role, I have seen that as the season grew.”

Jones has nearly 3,500 total yards and 52 touchdowns this fall.

“He just keeps everybody going,” says Farriss, “He’s really the heart and soul of our team. He’s done it all.”

Keno leading the Knights to their first regional title victory since 2002 Friday night.

“The city counting on us, they depended on us,” says Jones, “I think it was 1986. That same team played Seventy-First, and they lost, so I wanted to get that for them guys. I’m just happy we did because to see the smile on their faces. It was good.”

An epic final minutes game-winning drive where he threw the game-winning score.

“Sure enough came right down to fourth down, Fourth and seven,” says Farriss, “We had to have him make a play.”

“I was kind of scared but I had to step up,” says Jones, “Seeing Ashton, he got open, and I threw it. Touchdown we won. This is what we wanted. This is what we wanted.”

Earning a chance to play for a state title this week at NC State’s Carter-Finley stadium.

“Big stadium man, big stadium. It’s the big stage,” says Jones.

It means a lot to Keno and he knows it would mean a lot to Rocky Mount to bring home the title.

“It’s time to prove to people what we can do as a team,” says Jones.

Northern Nash faces East Lincoln in the 3A state final on Saturday night at 7 PM at NC State’s Carter-Finley Stadium.

Jones says he has a few offers on the table to play in college. He has spoken with a few other schools recently but has not yet committed. He is hopeful to continue playing football as long as he can.