August 29, 2009

SMQ: Gaines leads Ft. Osage to impressive win

Consider the first game of the E.J. experiment a resounding success.

Entering this season, Ft. Osage head coach Ryan Schartz tested numerous running backs to replace Dalton Krysa, the Indians' all-time leading rusher. When no back seized the opportunity, Schartz decided to get the ball into his best playmaker's hands, and see what happens.

Saturday Morning Quarterback

- Of course, Gaines' main position, and position he'll most likely play at Missouri, is cornerback. As most know, if there's a shut-down corner in high school, his side of the field is ignored for the majority of games. Such was the case on Friday night. Park Hill South attempted two passes to Gaines' side. The first was a screen to a wide receiver that Gaines' wasn't covering. The second was a deep pass, but Gaines was playing closer to the line of scrimmage. That pass was incomplete.

- Another testament to Gaines' skill is the fact that, not only did the Panthers ignore his side through the air, they only ran the ball towards him three times. The first time, Gaines absolutely lit up Park Hill South's starting quarterback on an option keeper. There wouldn't be too many more forays into Gaines' neighborhood after that.

- For a recruit of Gaines' stature (5-10, 175), he sure can lay a big hit. Every time he was able to tackle an opposing player, the "pop" resounded through the stadium.

- Ft. Osage's quarterback (Edward Pearl) and wide receiver (Kamryn Tillman) really stood out, and I was amazed to hear that neither is receiving D-I interest (Schartz seemed pretty amazed by that, as well).

Pearl is a 6-foot-3, 200-pound dual-threat quarterback, and while his delivery is a bit long, the zip on his passes was remarkable. He went 4-9 for 197 yards and a couple of touchdowns. Realistically, though, he should have ended 6-9, as two passes were dropped by receivers. Taking out sacks, he would have rushed for 40 yards, as well.

Tillman is slight in stature at 5-foot-10, 170-pounds, but he catches just about everything and showed good speed and agility. In fact, he accounted for all of Pearl's completions and yards. Of his 197-yards receiving, he went 80-yards in one strike from Pearl. These two deserve to get a look from some bigger colleges.

Saturday Morning Quarterback will hit the road again on Friday, Sept. 11, to cover all the action between Potosi and New Madrid County Central.

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