Devon Jones is used to getting plenty of carries for the Saint Mary’s Huskies. But the amount of off-field pacing he did last week might have been just as fatiguing.
The second-year all-star tailback was forced to stand in the bleachers for last Saturday’s Loney Bowl as he served the final stage of a two-game suspension. Worse still, he left Huskies Stadium in a tense third quarter to accompany injured teammate Quinton Meaders to the hospital.
He roamed the hospital getting sporadic game updates via text message from his brother Tristan, a fellow Huskies running back who was sidelined with a shoulder injury.
“It was just torture,” said Jones, who earned the ban for a deliberate attempt to injure an opponent.
“I’m pacing the halls going, ‘Oh my God, no, this can’t be,’ with the back-and-forth texts. That was the hardest part, not actually seeing it and just getting text updates.”
Jones’s replacement made sure he’d get another chance to step on the field this season. Craig Leger took over as lead back and rushed for 182 yards on 21 carries and was MVP as the Huskies claimed a third straight Atlantic University Sport crown with a 31-22 win over the St. Francis Xavier X-Men.
“I can’t say enough about Craig,” Jones said. “I’m so proud of what he did. Everybody knew he could do it.”
But Jones’s return to the lineup gives the Huskies some heavy-duty smash to go along with Leger’s nimble-footed dash for Saturday’s Uteck Bowl against the Calgary Dinos.
Jones, the son of former CFL star Milson Jones, rushed for an AUS-best 490 yards and six touchdowns and packs a wallop with his 5-foot-11, 238-pound build.
“He gives us that power back,” said Huskies head coach Steve Sumarah. “He gives us that little change up.”
Jones said the time off, coupled with the magnitude of Saturday’s game, has him running with renewed vigor.
“This whole week in practice, I feel like a kid again, running around the field,” he said. “I’m excited to be out here, excited to do everything, more than I have been.
“That’s weird for me, but it’s going to be a good week.”
Waiting on another Jones
The Huskies know they’ll have one Jones back on Saturday, but they’re still waiting on the other.
Although Devon is due to play in the Uteck Bowl after serving a
two-game suspension, his brother and fellow running back Tristan will
be a game-day decision with a shoulder injury that forced him out of
last weekend’s Loney Bowl.
“If his shoulder is holding up, he’ll play,” said Huskies head coach
Steve Sumarah. “He’s been out there practising the past couple of days,
but that’s practice, not a game. We just want to make sure we’re doing
the right thing for him.”