Central Catholic quarterback Bobby Metzger seizes the opportunity
LAFAYETTE – Bobby Metzger wasn’t supposed to be the guy taking shots behind center Friday night.
Not this year.
Sometimes you have to expect the unexpected in football and when projected central Catholic starting quarterback Ben Mazur underwent elbow surgery, it propelled a sophomore into the role of team leader.
Metzger was ready because he remained ready for this moment, hopefully, but maybe not so soon.
“Everyone was so supportive, encouraged me and made sure I felt comfortable,” Metzger said. “I wouldn’t be as comfortable in this offense without the line trusting me and the receivers trusting me to give them the ball. I feel like I was ready because of them.”
There were flashes of genius when Metzger played with the first unit in a preseason scrimmage at Harrison.
But when it was real, in last week’s season opener at Seeger, the nerves of a young quarterback making his first college start at the football marquee job kicked in and Central Catholic was in an unexpected position to play from behind.
Then, like a switch, Metzger flipped.
He would go 24 of 34 for 258 yards and four touchdowns and that early deficit was a reflection after a 24-point road win.
“He’s a young guy. Maybe he had a little nerve the first few shots, but once it started he never looked back,” said catcher Evan Dienhart, who has caught 16 passes for 168 yards and three touchdowns. “After the second and third quarters, he looked like a good starting college quarterback and we’re excited to know where he’s taking that.”
The timeline for Mazur’s return is unclear.
However, coach Brian Nay was never nervous.
He knows, especially now, that he has a quarterback more than capable of handling the pressure of leading the Knights’ offense.
“He put in hours and hours of work to be the best quarterback he could be in sophomore year not knowing how it was going to turn out for him,” Nay said. “I’m sure he probably came into the season thinking he was going to be the JV QB.
“He was more than prepared to take to the pitch with the boys on Friday night and I feel like he really delivered on his promise. I’m not surprised at the job he did, but he definitely did. opened a lot of eyes to who he is and what he’s all about.”
That will be contested on Friday night when the stakes are raised against a more talented opponent.
Central Catholic hosts a ranked Guerin team in the annual battle for the Bishop’s Cannon Traveling Trophy.
But, after shining against Harrison in a scrimmage and then leading last week’s victory at Seeger, he is no longer thrown into the fire.
Metzger, in just a few weeks, has become a composed leader, now with even more confidence.
“He never stopped working. He was going to have extra work on the weekends or find people to pitch with after practice,” Dienhart said. “He took advantage of his opportunity on Friday.
“During practice, you never know how a real team is going to react. In Harrison, you could tell he was calm and kept his cool against a bigger school. He showed that again on Friday. .”
Sam King covers sports for the Journal & Courier. Email him at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter and Instagram @samueltking.
Guérin Catholic (1-0) at Central Catholic (1-0)
Time: 7 p.m.
Series history: Central Catholic have won 11 of 15 meetings after last year’s 48-42 win snapped a three-game losing streak against the Eagles.
About Guérin Catholique: The Eagles won their season opener 45-21 over McCutcheon. … Guerin Catholic is ranked sixth in the Class 3A Coaches poll and seventh in the Associated Press poll. … After a seven-game losing streak against CC last season, the Eagles have won three of their last four games. …Leaders in statistics –
About Central Catholic: The Knights won their season opener 45-21 at Seeger. …Central Catholic is ranked fifth in the Associated Press and Class 2A coaching polls. … The Knights are looking to start 2-0 for the first time since 2016. … Statistical leaders – Passing: Bobby Metzger (24-34, 258 yards, 4 TDs). … Rushing: Baylor Smith (23 char., 190 yards, 2 TD). … Reception: Evan Dienhart (16 rec., 168 yards, 3 TD). … Tackles: Brinn Robbins (13). … Tackles for loss: Nick Page (5).
Coach Nay’s perspective: “They’re still so strong. Coach (Tom) Dilley is doing a great job there. They’re big and physical. They’ve got some really nice players and it shows on film. We’re going to have our hands full on Friday.”