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Seton Hill freshman running back making impact

| Thursday, Sept. 28, 2006

Seton Hill University running back Antwarn Jones is 4 for 4 in 100-yard games.

For his college career.

The diminutive, 5-foot-7, 160-pound freshman is averaging 121.3 yards per game for the Griffins (1-3) heading into their game Saturday against Walsh at Offutt Field in Greensburg.

"We thought he was a pretty good player when we recruited him. We thought he could help us. But we didn't think he'd have this kind of numbers right away," Seton Hill coach Chris Snyder said.

Jones, who has earned one offensive player of the week award in the West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, rushed for a career-high 142 yards on 25 carries in Seton Hill's most recent game Sept. 16, a 49-13 loss to Wesley, ranked No. 6 in NCAA Division III.

The NCAA Division II Griffins, competing in only their second season of football, were idle last week.

Jones has been the featured back in their offense during the past three games, averaging 28 carries per game after only seven attempts produced 107 yards (15.3 avg.) in a season-opening 31-14 loss to West Liberty State.

"It doesn't come easy," Jones said. "I have to come ready to play. It's a tough way to get the yards, carrying 30 times a game."

But it's becoming routine for Jones to handle the bulk of the running plays for Seton Hill, which is preparing to face a 4-0 Walsh team that is ranked No. 6 in NAIA.

Following an injury in the opener to starting quarterback Matt Dowdell, Snyder has placed more emphasis on a running game. But he said, "we went into the season thinking we'd be a running team.

"It's altered us some, and a lot of credit goes to Antwarn. Teams are putting a lot of people on the (line). He's got good vision, and he is exceptionally strong. He can break tackles. He's got great acceleration. He's a powerful back."

Several NCAA Division I-AA schools, including James Madison, Georgetown and Lehigh, had shown interest in Jones, he said. But the graduate of Cardinal Gibbons High School in Baltimore chose to attend Seton Hill because he felt the school had made a genuine commitment to its football program.

He also credited his mother for pointing him there.

"My mom wanted me to get a good education. She felt there'd be too many distractions at other schools," he said.

"It's been a big transition, coming from Baltimore," Jones added. "But my mom, who I talk to every day, has kept me on the right path and I believe things are going to work out fine."

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