Wide receiver Jaron Dukes committed to Michigan back in February, and has been focusing on his senior season ever since. The 6-5, 197-pounder out of Columbus (Ohio) Marion-Franklin led his team into a crucial showdown with perennial City League power Brookhaven on Friday night.
Marion-Franklin held a 20-6 lead until the final minutes, when a furious Brookhaven rally came up just short with 10 seconds to go, as the visiting Red Devils escaped with a 20-14 victory.
"Brookhaven’s a great team," Dukes said. "Our team came out here, we all stayed together and everybody stepped up. I feel like we came out at first strong and hyped, but then we kind of let them get back into the game. But the good thing is we all stayed together, stayed as one and worked through it trying to get this W."
Individually, Dukes caught one pass for seven yards. Marion-Franklin had trouble protecting its quarterback against Brookhaven's stout defense, so Dukes was only targeted a handful of times, and most of the passes were uncatchable. While Dukes was certainly pleased to start his senior season 1-0, he wasn't pleased with his own level of play.
"I think I played terrible," Dukes said. "There’s always room to grow, and this was just one of those games where you can’t always have a great game. I just felt like I didn’t step up and do my part as well as I thought I should. But all I can do is practice, work harder and go out and do better next game. Not everybody has a great game, and I guess today was my day."
Marion-Franklin will be on the road once again next week as they take on Michigan commit Taco Charlton's Pickerington Central squad.
Be sure to check the comments section below for more inside information on Dukes, including what he has been hearing from the Wolverine coaches, which Michigan commits he keeps in touch with and an evaluation of his game.