With opposing football teams going to extremes to try and keep the ball out of the hands of Comeaux’s Hunter Register the two-way standout resorted to a bit of ingenuity to impact his most recent game in a different manner.
Having already returned three kickoffs and punts for touchdowns in two games, Register credited his position on the field and awareness in returning an interception 43 yards for a TD that resulted in a commanding lead Friday en route to the Spartans’ 36-9 win over Alexandria.
“I was just in the right place at the right time,” Register said. “He dropped the ball, then it hit his foot and I was just right there and caught it. I’m just trying to give my team a spark because we usually get off to a slow start. If I give that spark, that will give us what we need to get going and be able to go out and get a win.”
Register has managed to provide quite a lift for Comeaux (2-0) heading into Friday’s 7 p.m. contest at Class 4A’s No. 10 Breaux Bridge (1-1).
The irony, though, is Register’s a three-star prospect at wide receiver, who will visit Minnesota officially next month, and has yet to produce an offensive touchdown because of the attention the 6-foot-4, 195-pounder’s getting with multiple defenders in his vicinity.
So, that’s enabled Register to unleash another viable element of his game, turning special teams into another scoring option before teams began straying away from kicking to him.
Register returned a kickoff 70 yards and a punt 42 yards for touchdowns in Comeaux’s season-opening 28-20 victory over Cecilia to go with two catches for 49 yards. His 59-yard punt return gave the Spartans an 8-0 lead in last week’s game.
“He’s just one of those special athletes,” Comeaux coach Kevin Magee said. “He has a knack when he gets the ball in his hands. He tries to score on every play.”
Register dismisses his special teams prowess as simply an opportunity to bolster his team’s chances at winning and nothing out of the ordinary on his part.
“I did it in middle school and I was pretty good at it, but it’s different in high school because everybody’s faster,” Register said. “Now you have to wait and set up your blocks and they have helped me and blocked real well to get me open. I credit all the punt and kickoff returns to them because without them I couldn’t score.”
While he’s proven to be lethal with the ball in his hands, it’s hard to discount Register’s presence without it.
Given the attention Register demands on offense, it’s done one of two things: created bigger running lanes for running backs Scotty Thibodeaux and Devin Touchet or left fellow 6-foot-4 wide receiver Gregory Madison with single coverage on the opposite side of the field.
It’s a growing trend Register has managed to adapt to since Comeaux’s scrimmage, jamboree and first two games this season.
“Teams have been doubling and triple-teaming me, and that’s opened things up for the running game, which is good,” Register said. “I’m getting pretty used to it now. I’m not really frustrated by it. We’re still winning, and it’s allowing for other people to get open for us, so it’s all good.”
Kickoffs are no longer going in Register’s direction with last week’s game a prime example. After his punt return for a score, Alexandria tried to avoid punting to him all together and had a 3-yard effort that created good field position.
From his free safety spot, Register relies on his instincts as a receiver to process what quarterbacks are doing and accurately chart the paths of opposing receivers. That type of awareness helped him on his first interception, a ball that eventually caromed off the foot of the receiver and right to Register, who knew exactly what to do with it.
“You can tell it in the crowd when he gets the ball,” Magee said. “Anything can happen.”