PCM faces big district showdown without Vande Wall
that kept us from sealing the deal, but they fought hard and Albia’s a good team.”
With Vande Wall’s status up in the air for now, Uhlenhopp takes the signal caller position over with some uncertainty of how long he’ll be there. Although he’s spent significant time at receiver this season, Uhlenhopp served as the No. 3 quarterback last season and went 1-for-3 with 30 yards in his abbreviated time on the field. Bonnett has confidence in him though, and even believes he can bring another dimension to the position.
“I think he looks pretty good right now, and he’s played it before,” Bonnett said. “He’s maybe not as accurate as Nate, but he’s pretty close. And our system always gives the quarterback the option to run, and while Nate doesn’t very often, Zach easily could.”
Uhlenhopp’s experience at receiver this year (37 catches for 409 yards and two touchdowns) could help him adjust to the new position a little easier. At the very least, he has senior Ethan Kain, who is third in the state with 806 yards and 13 touchdowns, to throw to.
“Usually when we line up we’re on the same side of the field, and I like to give him a lot of crap during the game,” Kain said with a laugh. “We’re pretty good friends, so it works out. But we have some good receivers, so I think we’ll be all right.”
As far as Clarke goes, it’s been difficult to get an accurate reading after the Indians started the season 3-0, but have since lost four in a row. It is clear that they prefer to throw the ball, evidenced by their 1,117 passing yards to just 540 rushing yards. Also, two of the Indians’ three wins came against schools that are still winless on the season.
“They can definitely throw the ball, but a lot of the time I think it’s because they’re forced into that situation,” Bonnett said. “They have some formations that obviously set up for the pass, but I think they’d like to run the ball too. You can tell they have new life to them, they look completely different than they did on film last year.”
Only Friday will tell if the Mustangs can recapture what they did with their backup quarterback last season, but the passing game hasn’t been much of an issue for the team this season. PCM leads the district in receiving and has five players with at least 100 yards and four with at least 200.
As Kain will tell you, however, stats won’t matter when the clock starts to run after kickoff at 7:30 p.m.
“It’s been a great season, but I just catch the ball and run,” Kain said. “Stats really aren’t that important to me as long as I’m doing what I can to help the team out.”
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