WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — Quarterback Jaren Rainey scored a pair of first-half touchdowns to help led Southwest Guilford (N.C.) to a 27-13 win Friday night over R.J. Reynolds (N.C.) at Deaton-Thompson Stadium.
“It was sloppy, but we were very thankful to come out with a win,” Southwest Guilford coach Eric Rainey said. “We made some mistakes, but were able to battle back. I’m proud of them.”
A wet field helped lead to sloppy play and a second half fumble from Jaren Rainey, after a solid 20+ yard gain on a quarterback draw.
“He kept his attitude up. He missed some throws, had some dropped balls and had some bad reads,” Eric Rainey said about his son Jaren. “It wasn’t a clean game for him, but what I’ve been talking to him most about is to get off the field. Quarterbacks are going to make mistakes and make bad plays. All the eyes are on you, but you have to stay up.
“Every time something went wrong — caused by him or not, he got off the field, got to the sideline and got his mind right.”
“If things aren’t open, he knows he can tuck it and run it. He knows where the openings will be to take off and run. His legs are a weapon for us.”
Despite scoring twice early, Jaren believes he started slow.
“I came out kind of slow. All around, I could have played better,” he said. “My defense came through for us.”
The 6-foot-2, 186 pound 2018 prospect is starting to get looks from colleges, but mostly as an athlete or safety.
“I love the game of football. I’m going to go wherever the lord blesses me to go,” Jaren said. “I’ll go wherever I’m needed just to play football at the next level. If it’s not as a quarterback, that’s just fine, though I would love to go to college as a quarterback.”
He’s received an offer to play safety as East Carolina, and is drawing interest from Wake Forest and Duke.
“I’ve always liked ECU and they’ve always been my favorite football team,” Jaren said. “I loved Dowdy–Ficklen Stadium. It’s a great environment.”
He also camped at Duke and Wake during the summer.
“Duke was really good. I like the relationship the coaches have with me,” Rainey said. “It was a good all-around camp.”
The Wake coaches are also looking at Rainey as a potential safety prospect.
“It was a fun experience and I liked it a lot,” Rainey said about the camp. “I’m going to make sure I get there soon (for a visit). I hear they’re really doing good. I like coach Clawson a lot.”
As Southwest Guilford continues to move up the ranks as a program, a lot of attention has been focused on players like Rainey and Nolan Jackson.
"I’m a team player. Sometimes the attention comes on me more than it needs to. The defense and offensive line is what really makes things go in football,” Rainey said. “It’s not all about me, Nolan or just the star players in the program. It’s about the team coming together and playing good football. We want to make a run in the playoffs and do things that have never been done at Southwest before.”
Though still relatively early in the process, Rainey believes he knows what he’s looking for at the next level.
“It’s all about the family. I want to stay close to my family, and to have a good relationship with the coaches,” he said. “If I’m going a certain distance away from home, I want to still feel like I’m home. I want to go to a great football program that has potential to do big things.”