High school top five: Offensive players to watch

Published 9:25 pm Monday, July 21, 2014

The calendar will soon turn to August, and with it comes the beginning of the high school football season. Over the next two weeks, The Messenger will feature different “Top Five” lists to give readers information about the upcoming season.

First up are offensive playmakers.


Rush Hixon, Pike Liberal Arts: Rush Hixon wears jersey No. 2 and plays a lot like a certain former Texas A&M star who wore the same digit on his back. Hixon combines speed, quickness and nifty open-field moves to leave opposing defenses gasping for breath and looking to the sideline for coaching help.

Hixon played quarterback for the Patriots last season, but will move to slot receiver/wingback in Arlton Hudson’s new offense. Hixon won’t call the signals in 2014, but expect his number to be called multiple times a game, either rushing, receiving and maybe even a pass every now and then.

Mondarius Dixon, Charles Henderson: While John Johnson received much of the praise in 2013, and deservedly so, Dixon was a workhorse for Charles Henderson. Dixon slashed, zigged and zagged his way to 1,310 yards rushing and 10 touchdowns.

But Dixon isn’t a one-trick pony. He reeled in 38 passes for 458 yards and four more touchdowns. Dixon will be the focal point of the Trojan offense this year, so expect those numbers to go up.

Jerrel Lawson, Pike County: Lawson has done a little bit of everything for Pike County over the last few seasons. He has played quarterback, running back and receiver during his time in purple and silver.

But with the departure of running back LaMarcus Adair, Lawson becomes the feature cog in the Dawg offense in 2014. Lawson grew as a quarterback by leaps and bounds last season, so expect offensive coordinator Mike Waters to give him more responsibility this go around.

Terrianno “Taz” Griffin, Goshen: Griffin picked up the nickname Taz a long time ago, and his running style backs it up. He is a bruising back that loves contact and breaking tackles just as much as racing down the sidelines for touchdowns.

The Eagles are in search of a replacement for do-everything player Deangelo Orum and Griffin fits the role. He will shoulder much of the load early on and will be the focal point of the Goshen offense early and often towards the march to the AHSAA playoffs for a seventh straight season.

Austin Ingram, Charles Henderson: No doubt about it, Austin Ingram is the most polished quarterback to come out of the Troy area in quite some time. In 2013, he threw for 2,480 yards and 31 touchdowns en route to being named as the All-Area quarterback for the second straight season.

Ingram will be without veteran wide outs John Johnson, Josh Noel and Josh Pearson this year, forcing the signal caller to find new weapons. Ingram, a solid 210 pounds, doesn’t fit the typical quarterback mold, but showed off his wheels at times last year, proving he can be more than just a drop back passer.

One thing is for sure: Charles Henderson will go as far as Ingram’s right arm takes them.