Ethan Rose has spent his Friday nights being the hunter and the hunted.
The Northside quarterback has fueled the Vikings offense, accounting for 723 passing yards and six scores in addition to 1,005 yards on 92 carries and 13 touchdowns as a runner.
However, when a 13-10 Northside edge over Evangel Christian Academy was being threatened in Week 3, Rose relished a different opportunity. His fourth-quarter interception near the Northside end zone secured the Vikings’ first win after an 0-2 start.
“I like everything about defense: The hard hits and chasing people with the ball — I’m all for it,” Rose said.
That quiet enthusiasm has endeared Rose to Vikings coach Trev Faulk, the former LSU and NFL linebacker who has seen his quarterback handle the workload on both sides of the ball.
“(Rose) is really even keel and not super emotional, which is pretty ideal for what we ask him to do every day,” Faulk said. “He shows up at work, and I enjoy having him here. You know what you get from him every day.”
That consistency has helped the Vikings grind out four wins (4-5, 2-3 in District 5-4A) in a rugged district that includes Teurlings Catholic (7-1), St. Thomas More (8-1) and Breaux Bridge (6-2). The predistrict schedule was no picnic, as Acadiana, Carencro and Evangel were waiting to challenge the Vikings. What could have been a downer turned into a reason for Rose to get excited.
“Beating Evangel was a good moment because last year they beat us bad (45-0),” Rose said. “It feels good to play against somebody different like that instead of the same teams. Evangel had a lot of athletes, but we managed to stop them with our defense.”
When the Vikings needed a boost last week against Cecilia — coming off a loss to St. Thomas More — Rose chipped in 290 yards and four touchdowns in a 41-40 loss.
“It’s always hard to lose, but you do learn more than when you win,” Rose said. “It shows how much potential we have. We haven’t played our best, but we can still hang in there.”
As a potential college player, schools have looked at Rose as a cornerback or safety.
“As far as his development as a defender, I defer to our defensive coordinator, Tyson Andrus,” Faulk said. “I am mostly on him about competing and finishing every play ... something he has no problem doing. Frankly, I am not sure why the (recruiting) process has been so slow. Wherever he ends up, they are getting a heck of a football player.”
Part of the growth process has involved Rose picking up visual cues that have aided him as a quarterback and as a defender.
“He has been able to see how we want to attack defenses and move and manipulate guys on the opposing defense,” Faulk said. “When he moves to cornerback or safety, he has a feel for what (opposing offenses) are trying to do to set him up.”
The next task for Rose is to try to help manufacture a team win over Teurlings in the regular-season finale Friday night at Teurlings. There is also the desire to enjoy the fun moments — on either offense or defense.
“I have had some crazy plays this season (as a quarterback),” he said. “I couldn’t do it without my offensive line and receivers blocking.”