The Sidney Yellow Jackets will have to rely on a freshman quarterback the remainder of the season.
Head coach Adam Doenges revealed Tuesday that junior starter Jack Feazel has been lost for the season. Feazel’s injury is to his wrist and he’s had issues with it for about the past year.
“He’s was slated to have surgery on it after the season, but it’s gotten worse,” said Doenges. “Some days he can throw a ball through a sign. But other days he can’t grip a pencil. So he’s done.
“It’s a big blow,” he added. “Jack was named captain as a junior and that doesn’t happen a whole lot. He’s a leader and now he’s going to have to lead in a different way. He’s going to be our full-time quarterbacks coach, so we just upgraded at that position. (Doenges is the QB coach).”
The signal-calling now falls to a talented but obviously inexperienced freshman in Andre Gordon, who has been the only quarterback the last six quarters for the Yellow Jackets. Gordon actually leads the Jackets in rushing with 266 yards so far, and is doing well through the air, hitting 17-for-27 for 347 yards and three touchdowns.
“Andre goes to No. 1 and will get the majority of the snaps now,” said Doenges, who added that senior Peyton Osborne is his backup. “Andre’s done a good job but there’s stuff he has to do better. Jack is more of a student of the game, and Andre more the athlete. But Andre soaks in stuff and is a very bright kid, and we haven’t had to dial back as much as we thought we’d have to.”
Last week, Gordon passed for 265 yards and rushed for 78 yards, putting him within 15 yards of the school record for total yards in a game.
The Jackets go for their third straight win Friday night when they travel to Fairborn to face the 1-2 Skyhawks. Fairborn opened with a 20-point win over Tecumseh but has since lost to Stebbins and Beavercreek, both 3-0.
“They gave Beavercreek a run for their money last week,” Doenges said of the Skyhawks. “They’re the most dynamic team we’ve played. They’re able to do an equal amount of running and passing, and have good athletes.”
He’s quite concerned about the Jacket offense against the Fairborn defense.
“They have the best linebacking crew we’ve seen,” he said. “(Ben) Walburn is all over the field. He’s a run first guy and doesn’t concern himself with the pass. We’ve challenged our line to get to that guy and try to neutralize him. And they better bring it because he’ll go right through you.”
Walburn is 6-foot-3, 220 and a senior, and leads the entire Greater Western Ohio Conference in tackles so far with 46.
Fairborn quarterback Wesley Watts has thrown 64 passes so far and completed 29 for 432 yards and five touchdowns. His favorite targets are Aron Childers with nine catches, and Gracen Barnhart and Brandon Easterling with eight each.
“We have to clean up our mistakes,” said Doenges. “We’ve won the last couple weeks purely by being more athletic. That gap narrows this week and the rest of the season, so we have to be a little more sound in what we’re doing.”
Reach Ken Barhorst at 937-538-4818