Sophomore QB gains confidence heading into matchup with Churchill.
November 2, 2011
Though Tyler Beatty was named Sherwood’s starting quarterback 15 minutes before game time on October 29, he did not complete the Warriors’ (6-3) first pass.
Beatty handed off three times to Fernando Smith and Sherwood was forced to punt. But after a botched long-snap, punter Jake Ryder scrambled away from the oncoming rush and completed to Dante Thomas for 14 yards and a Sherwood first down.
“I thought they were going to leave him in instead of me,” Beatty said. “He looked pretty good.”
Beatty, or “Buckwheat” as he is called by teammates for his farm-boy appearance, went on to complete seven of 19 passes for 124 yards through what he called “constant butterflies.” The Warriors’ sixth win keeps them within striking distance for a playoff berth.
Beatty won the job from Jordan Larsen after the Warrior offense sputtered to a 14-13 loss to Paint Branch. Heading into week nine’s contest with Northwest, head coach Mike Bonavia handed the sophomore Beatty the reigns just as the Jaguars won the coin toss.
As the Warriors’ opening drive continued Beatty got his first chance to throw on third and five from his own 47 yard-line. He overthrew fullback Ryan Marine in the flat, bringing Ryder back on—this time to punt successfully. The Jaguars promptly marched 74 yards in under three minutes behind quarterback Matty Callahan, a drive capped when Callahan found Joshua Gills on a speed fade in the corner of the endzone.
“I had to adjust [against Callahan] to play better,” said Beatty. “We needed to perform well against a great quarterback like that.”
Beatty ended the first quarter without completing a single pass. To begin the second quarter, however, the wiry sophomore finally got on a roll. His first varsity completion was a four-yard swing pass to Abdoulie Jallow and his second a 19-yard slant to Maliki Roy. The Warriors drove to the Jaguar 25-yard line before Beatty’s deep ball intended for Jallow was picked off.
“I was trying too hard and I just tried to force it. I threw off my back foot and it just wasn’t what I wanted,” he said. “I was shocked because I’d never thrown an interception on varsity and I didn’t know what people would think of me.”
The sophomore bounced right back though, connecting on two of his next three passes for 47 yards and setting Sherwood up with a first-in-goal situation from the one when Smith would bring the Warriors within a point of the Jaguars. After a shaky first half, Beatty finished the game on seven of 13 passing and ran a crisp Warrior offense that had 15 penalty yards the rest of the game.
“It was very difficult for me to make that switch [at quarterback],” said Bonavia. “[Beatty] really came through for us. He had to run the offense. He had to do things using his arm and legs. It was an adjustment we made and we’re just really pleased with how he came through.”