Dowdy stepped up at QB for No. 1 Mavericks | Sports

right side – Last year’s three-man gang at quarterback James Monroe was odd, but effective.

However, it has not always been easy.

Coach John Mustain knew it. The team knew it. The three players who made up the Mavericks’ three-headed monster last season, rookie Layton Dowdy, second Cooper Ridgeway and junior Eli Allen, knew it.

Mustain was adamant before preseason camp that the Mavericks would go to a quarterback this season, the one who ended up taking most of the shots late last year, Dowdy.

“It’s not something that Layton did that the other two guys didn’t,” Mustan said recently. “I just thought it would make us a better football team if Cooper stayed running back, Eli stayed receiver and we put Layton in quarterback. We felt like he could do the job and he certainly proved us right.

Did it ever.

The second started all 11 games for the Mavericks and completed 69 of 109 passes for 1,389 yards and 20 touchdowns. He threw for over 200 yards in two games, including 225 in a 37-13 win over Petersburg last Saturday in the first round of the Class A playoffs. He also threw for four touchdowns in a game this year and three on three other occasions, including Saturday.

And it also helped players who were able to call a position home, Ridgeway and Allen.

Ridgeway rushed for 1,177 yards and 12 touchdowns (7.5 ypc) and also caught 21 passes for 341 yards and five more touchdowns. Allen, a basketball player with Division I aspirations, came out late and had 24 receptions for 528 yards (22.0) and nine touchdowns. He also has seven interceptions (15 the last two seasons).

This makes the attack more cohesive as a unit.

“Everyone feels comfortable in their position and can grow playing there,” Dowdy said. “Turning everyone down is a bit weird and then this year everyone understood their position and you can grow more as a team I think.

With a strong line, seen by opposing coaches as one of the top two reasons James Monroe is No. 1 in Class A. ‘opposition. Dowdy is up there too, which surprises the mild-mannered second student.

But not his teammates.

“I knew he was going to be really good, but the way he progressed as a sophomore, who didn’t play a lot last year as a quarterback, he did a phenomenal job,” said offensive lineman Jeffrey Jones. “It’s more than I thought he would do. I knew he was going to be good in the third game of the season. The way the backs and everything moved, it was like watching the water go down a river. Everything was smooth, perfect.

“Layton can read on the court, he can run, he can throw, he can really do anything,” added lineman Jacob Proffitt. “Layton was a really big factor at quarterback. As Coach Mustain says, we have kids who can catch the ball, Layton has an arm, we have kids who can play in the field, catch the ball and score.

He cites sources other than his right arm for yardage and 20 touchdowns.

“Definitely the line, you have to give them credit for giving me time to throw the ball,” Dowdy said. ” Without them, nothing would be possible. and obviously Eli and the receivers do a great job opening up and catching the ball.

He did a great job using his back in the passing game.

“It’s been really big,” Dowdy said. “Sometimes the defense gets lost and doesn’t really see them getting out of there. and you can send them across the line, and they can get out, a defense won’t see them, and they have to respect Eli above all else. It works well, especially with Cooper being able to do things after catching the ball.

Ridgeway and Braydie Carr, the two leading running backs, combined for 26 catches for 496 yards and eight touchdowns.

Allen’s return to the team and the roster in week three of the season bolstered the offense. He had decided to give up his senior football season to focus on basketball. Dowdy, Allen and Ridgeway are among the football players who played on James Monroe’s state basketball championship team a year ago.

“Eli is one of my best buddies out of school, and when he told me he wasn’t going to play, I wasn’t really surprised,” Dowdy said. “I wanted to, obviously, but I respected his decision. I talked to him about it anyway, and we brought him back. I was so happy when he did. He’s 6- 4, he can jump, he is athletic.

Last year, the three quarters combined totaled just 677 yards, Ridgeway (who has now rushed for over 1,000 yards in consecutive seasons) threw for 221 and five touchdowns, Allen 300 yards and touchdowns and Dowdy 156 yards and four touchdowns (in seven games). Dowdy has surpassed that total in four games this season.

“Maybe a little bit, going into a different game and it was a draw that was going to play,” he said when asked if the three-QB approach was difficult. “But I just wanted to get in there and do what the coaches wanted me to do to help the team win. I came into the season just wanting to play as a freshman no matter where it was. This year, since the beginning was just me and everyone got used to playing their part now.

Dowdy thinks the state basketball championship has helped football.

“It gives you a little taste of what winning looks like and then you want to come back into the football season with that same taste,” Dowdy said. “After the season is over, we want to leave behind a champion, just like we did in basketball.”

Greenbrier West (10-1) poses a formidable and familiar foe in tonight’s Class A quarterfinals. The Mavericks handed the Cavaliers their only loss in the regular season.

“Last time we played them it was 27-0 and for this one we have to put that score aside,” Dowdy said. “We have to improve in training because they are going to want to win.”

Greenbrier West has shut out eight opponents and given up just seven points since losing to James Monroe on Oct. 7.

Ty Nickell leads the way with 1,887 rushing yards and his 174 points and 31 touchdowns are second most in the state. The Cavs have a two-headed QB monster in Cole Vandall and Tucker Lilly, who have thrown for 908 yards and eight touchdowns. Ethan Holliday has 15 receptions for 304 yards.

Carr was a big back for the Mavericks with 707 yards and 11 rushing touchdowns.

Kick-off is at 7.30pm at Lindside.

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