You are quickly going to notice a trend with the players we are looking at this week, because we certainly did as we were compiling it.
This is the week of the quarterback. All five players we are going to talk about are quarterbacks who are going to be expected to make big plays. Some of these teams have huge games, some of them just have a lot to prove and why not the de factor leader to prove something?
Even more fun when getting the quarterbacks involved: there is a chance of rain tonight, so that football could get slippery.
DUCE TAYLOR, NORTH SIDE
The jury is still out with Taylor, with all signs pointing towards him making his season debut tonight against Wayne. However, those rumors remain unconfirmed. That said, if you believe what everyone else is saying, the Snider transfer will be in action as a Legend for Week 4.
The next question is, where will we see him at if he does indeed play? North Side has yet to score a point this season, so will Taylor immediately step into the quarterback role he is known for to replace three-year starter Ronald Collins III? Last year at Snider, Taylor played four games and completed 15 of 26 passes for 203 yards, two touchdowns and an interception and also ran for 23 yards.
He already holds offers from Akron, Toledo, Central Michigan and Illinois State, Taylor has plenty of hype behind him and an arm to back it up. He has stayed ready to play and it could lead to positive momentum for the Legends. An extremely accurate passer who drew praise all summer for his throws, the junior would open up the offense quite a bit.
SAM WOOD, CHURUBUSCO
While the majority of the Eagles’ work in their perfect start has been done on the ground, Wood has quietly started his season strong on 17-of-31 passing for 308 yards. With one of the state’s best rushers behind him in Jake Fulk, confidence is soaring for Turtle Town. But there will also be more scrutiny and a heavier presence chasing Fulk down against Eastside.
Wood is a guy who can add some variants as well to Churubusco’s wing-T offense. Wood has experience in the system outside of the position, but he is learning the offense well and he and Coach Paul Sade seem to have a good balance in trying things together. That is made easier by his ability to make decisions and ride momentum with his throws.
TUCKER HASSELMAN, ANGOLA
Angola sits 0-3 for the first time since 2001 as opposing defenses have been able to stifle the Hornets after a Week 1 explosion of points. For them to contend with West Noble in the opening of NECC Big Division play, Hasselman’s poise has to be at the forefront.
He has looked comfortable moving around in and out of the pocket and the Chargers’ linebacker group will continue to test that. Hasselman is capable of big games because of his arm and the fact that he can be rather fleet of foot to open up the ground game more. Of all the teams with pressure on it this week, Angola has a lot of it and Hasselman will need to be a catalyst as the Hornets seek win No. 1.
BRENDEN LYTLE, BISHOP DWENGER
Lytle has already accumulated more than half of the passing yards he had last year and he is doing it with a completion percentage around 66 percent. With 465 yards and six touchdowns, Lytle is help spreading out a Saints offense that we are used to being run heavy.
Week 4 will be about versatility against a Homestead team that can also spread it out offensively. At this point, Lytle has become a major leader for the Saints because of how much he picks up and learns. Coach Jason Garrett has referred to him as a student of the game and it has done wonders for the Saints to spread the field out. Lytle is comfortable in the pocket and could be up for a huge game.
JAKAR WILLIAMS, NEW HAVEN
This kid is dangerous working out of the shotgun because of his ability to take off on the run, and not just around defenders. On one of New Haven’s first big plays last week, Williams took off weaving between DeKalb players on a 41-yard run. He is long and athletic and very difficult to tackle. When he works out of that shotgun formation, he has the space to make plays so much better.
Throwing the ball, Williams is patient and makes the smart plays. His short out passes to his receivers allows them time to make plays in space. While he reads the field well enough to go vertical, Williams is one of the area’s best at going horizontal to his receivers to spread out the field.