Checking in with local college football players
By Andy Southard | November 22, 2017 9:23 am
With all of the local football players’ seasons coming to a close, here is a look at how each of them finished their season.
Hunter Cantrell, a senior punter at Tusculum University, closed out his final season as one of the most decorated punters in Tusculum history. Cantrell finished with a share of All-SAC first team honors with Limestone punter Alex Haynes. Cantrell finished the season with a 41.64 punting average, which was second in the SAC and 14th in the country. His average this year was also the fifth highest in a TC single-season. Of his 56 punts, 26 were pinned inside the 20-yard line, the most of any punter in the conference. He recorded six punts over 50 yards, including a season-long 56-yarder at Limestone.
He posted a season-best 45.5 yards per punt at Limestone in an NCAA Division II-Showcase Game where the ESPN3 announcers named him “Hunter, the Punter.” In TC’s 31-30 double-overtime win at Newberry, Cantrell averaged 43.1 yards on his eight punts, with all eight of his kicks inside the 20-yard line. He was named D2Football.com National Special Teams Player of the Week and the SAC Special Teams Player of the Week.
He leaves Tusculum as its all-time leader with his 241 punts and 9,504 punting yards and is fourth with his 39.44 career punting average. His 63 career punts are the second-most in school history, just six shy of the all-time mark held by former TC All-American John Gregory from 2006-2009.
River Boruff, a red-shirt junior at East Tennessee State University, finished his season second on the team in tackles. He completed his campaign with 77 tackles and had three tackles for a loss. Boruff also ended with one forced fumble and four quarterback hurries. ETSU finished the season 4-7 on the year and 2-6 in conference play.
JoJo Matlock wrapped up his junior season at Sewanee. Matlock played in eight games on the defensive line and finished the season with 30 tackles and 4.5 sacks. Matlock averaged 3.8 tackles per game, but in conference play, he averaged five tackles. Matlock’s best game of the season was against Birmingham Southern where he finished with eight tackles, two sacks, and four tackles for a loss.
Editor’s note: Photos are courtesy of the players’ respective colleges.