Former Hamilton High School standout Keshon Heard had three tackles and an interception and played a major role in special teams for the Itawamba Community College football team Thursday night against East Mississippi C.C. in Scooba. Photo by: Jason Dyess/Special to The Dispatch Buy this photo.
September 22, 2017 11:24:56 AM
SCOOBA -- On second down in the second quarter, East Mississippi Community College motioned wide receiver Calvin Keys Jr. across the formation for a bubble screen.
Itawamba C.C. sophomore cornerback Quinshay Heard took on a perimeter wide receiver to set a wall to steer Keys Jr. inside. Sophomore safety Keshon Heard then shed a block from the inside, looped around Keys Jr., and threw him backward for a short gain. Two plays later, EMCC punted.
The play another episode in the successful homecoming and reuniting for the brothers from Hamilton High School.
After graduating from Hamilton High, Keshon went to Northwest Mississippi C.C. and Quinshay went to ICC. Now they're back together and playing at a high level. Quinshay had nine tackles in ICC's 48-24 loss to No. 1 EMCC on Thursday night.
"They've done a good job," ICC coach Sean Cannon said. "They play hard, and that's a testament to the way they work."
Keshon's first thoughts about the transfer were rooted in becoming a better play. He thought he might play better closer to home. Quinshay pounced on the opportunity.
"We always talked about playing together at the college level. I kind of convinced him to come down here," Quinshay said. "It was kind of tough. He said he really liked both of them."
The family tie aside, Keshon thinks he has become a better player as an Indian. Quinshay feels the same way. He said his brother adapted very quickly to learn the Indians' defense.
"He knows where to be," Quinshay said. "He knows where to line up and everything."
Keshon showed that with an interception in the first quarter. On the play, EMCC tried to hit wide receiver Dorrean McLaurin down the left side, but Keshon was on McLaurin's hip the entire way before he stepped in front for a relatively easy interception.
"I've been feeling an interception coming my way all year," he said. "I knew it was vertical all the way."
Two quarters later, Quinshay forced a turnover.
As EMCC was trying to pull away, quarterback Lindsey Scott Jr. found wide receiver Kirk Merritt downfield up the left hashmark. Quinshay read Scott's eyes, saw the play happening and, as he put it, "came with the boom" and hit Merritt on his left shoulder to pop the ball free. Cannon said he wasn't surprised by the play.
"It's almost like you have to take him out of practice sometimes so he doesn't knock himself out," Cannon said.
Cannon added he didn't pay much attention to Keshon when he was at Northwest Mississippi C.C., but he immediately noticed Heard's speed when he transferred to ICC. Keshon wasted no time showing it, returning a kick for a touchdown last week against his former team in a 27-24 victory.
Ever since then, Cannon has been more impressed with the brothers. As he said, "they've got good bloodlines."
Follow Dispatch sports writer Brett Hudson on Twitter @Brett_Hudson
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