For the second straight week, the Thomas More Prep-Marian football team is preparing to face a quarterback capable of beating defenses through the air or on the ground.
This week’s opponent, Cimarron, is quarterbacked by Nick Ash, a 6-foot-6 signal caller. Ash might not be as speedy as last week’s opponent, Plainville quarterback Hayden Friend, but he might be more dangerous elsewhere.
“We’ve seen some good quarterbacks,” TMP coach John Montgomery said. “As far as throwing, I think that he’s one of the better throwing quarterbacks that we’ve seen out of our first four games.”
While Friend would drop back and look to run, Ash is more likely to scramble to buy himself more time before making a pass, according to the Monarchs’ coach.
“Their quarterback is looking to pass more so than run, but when he pulls it down, he can make some things happen,” Montgomery said.
Quarterbacks with the ability to improvise force defenses to stick to their assignment. While it’s a difficult task, the Monarchs are familiar with the consequences of not containing a mobile quarterback.
“We have people that are going to be in positions to handle a scrambling quarterback, but are they being disciplined in their approach? That’s the key,” Montgomery said. “If they become undisciplined, that creates running lanes.”
According to the Montgomery, most of the mistakes his team has made through four games this season have been mental lapses.
“It’s guys that are trying to make plays, so you can’t fault them for that as a coach,” Montgomery said. “They’re trying to make plays. We just have to understand what we can and can’t do and recognize the situation a little bit better.”
One area of the defense Montgomery has been pleased with is his team’s ability to force turnovers. Although it didn’t turn into points for the offense, the Monarchs defense forced numerous turnovers against Plainville’s high powered offense. The coach believes his team has forced at least one turnover in each game the team has played this season.
Offensively, those mistakes primarily have been turnovers and untimely penalties. Despite costly turnovers and flags, the Monarchs run game took steps forward last week according the coach. He said the Monarchs rushed for well over 200 yards, but failed to put more points on the board because of untimely errors.
“We still have to be able to minimize our mistakes,” Montgomery said. “We seem to make mistakes at the worst possible time. If we can really keep from making a couple of those costly errors, we see the offense continue to click.”
Cimarron (2-2) is coached by Jason Stithem, who replaced current Hays High coach Randall Rath. Stithem has scrapped Rath’s power run offense in favor of a scheme that puts more receivers on the field.
The Bluejays won last year’s contest in Cimarron 46-0 under Rath. TMP will look to improve on its 1-3 record with a win at Lewis Field Stadium Friday.