One knock against quarterbacks who play in a spread offense is that they can be limited because they’re products of the system.
Walker’s Terry Bozeman and St. Amant’s Hayden Mallory won’t be bothered by such cynics. Instead, the two quarterbacks are determined to be the best they can be within their school’s system.
“I definitely feel more confident than last year,” Bozeman said. “As a team, we’re more confident. The stats are nice, but the thing I’m most excited about is that we’re winning.
“One big difference I see this year is that I’m able to make better decisions. I have my teammates and my coaches to lean on. I’ve got to see that we do whatever helps us win, whether it’s throwing the ball or running it.”
Bozeman is a 6-foot-2, 190-pound senior who is in his second year as a starter. Mallory (5-91/2, 180) is a junior and a first-year starter for the Gators. Both their teams are unbeaten. The two quarterbacks share another bond this week — they rank in the state’s top 10 passing leaders as compiled by the Louisiana Sports Writers Association.
Mallory ranks fourth with 554 yards and seven TDs. He completed 32 of 64 passes and threw for 352 yards in St. Amant’s win over Higgins last week. Bozeman, who has passed for 533 yards and nine TDs, is sixth and his totals included passing for 302 yards last week against Franklin.
“It’s really gone about like I thought it would,” Mallory said. “Our coaches did a good job of preparing me. I knew the speed of the game would be faster than JV, and this summer the seven-on-seven stuff we did prepared me for that.
“The summer also gave me a chance to work on my timing with the receivers. There are still plenty of things I need to work on to get better. My leadership needs to be better, but I’ve got a team that believes in me and I believe in them. That’s a great place to start.”
Bozeman and Mallory know the road ahead won’t get any easier. St. Amant hosts Class 3A power Lutcher (2-0) this week. That game will provide the Gators with another stiff test before District 5-5A play begins. SAHS opens 5-5A play against McKinley on Oct. 9.
Walker hosts Class 2A Friendship Capitol (0-2) on Friday, looking to go 3-0 for the first time since 2009. Bozeman expects the going to get tougher as the Wildcats move into District 4-5A play against Central on Oct. 9.
“We know the competition is going to get a lot tougher,” Bozeman said. “I personally feel like we’re in one of the toughest districts in the state. That’s why all of us need to continue to get better every week.”
Mallory adds, “What we’ve done so far is nice. But our goal is to go beyond that.”
Madison Prep’s Brian Savoie ranks third among the state’s receivers, based on the strength of the top receiving single game.
Savoie, who did not play in Class 2A MPA’s Week 1 win over Livonia, caught four passes for 285 yards and 4 TDs in last week’s win over White Castle. Tyre Golmond of Denham Springs leads area rushers with 288 yards.