Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Let the (football) games begin

Even though Mankato Loyola has already played one game, the football season really begins this week, and for local football fans, it's going to be an interesting season to watch quarterbacks.

At Mankato West, senior Philip Nelson will likely be remembered as the best quarterback in program history, and he'll surely end up with most of the prominent passing records by the time he leaves for the University of Minnesota next fall.

If West is to win another state championship, which is Nelson's stated goal, he'll have to be very productive, both passing and running, to overcome some of the Scarlets' weaknesses.

Loyola has a returning starter in Blake Matuska, while Mankato East will send in an inexperienced starter Friday, be it senior Matt Roberts or sophomore Quinn Frisell. Both teams had losing records last season, meaning it's up to the quarterback to help turn things around.

Minnesota State, which had poor quarterback play for much of last season, is going to Jon Daniels, a senior transfer from Nebraska-Omaha. The early reports have been good on Daniels, but sophomore Jon Wolf looked promising at the end of last season.

Gustavus Adolphus brings back senior Logan Becker, who put up pretty good numbers last season but threw 12 interceptions. Ball security should be better as a senior, in his second season as a starter, but the Gusties won't go far with that kind of turnover number.

The Minnesota Vikings acquired Donovan McNabb to be the starter until Joe Webb or Christian Ponder are ready to take over, and McNabb has looked a little better in each preseason game. The Vikings aren't likely to get much out of this season so you wonder how long McNabb will remain engaged.

It's often said that quarterbacks get too much blame and too much credit, but this season, in this area, quarterback play has never been so important.

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