Gephart in as starting quarterback as Heidelberg opens at Adrian
When asked what he was expecting from Adrian’s defense in today’s season opener, new Heidelberg starting quarterback Jimmy Gephart was concise.
“I think they’re changing things up, is what we’ve seen,” the senior said.
That seems to be a theme for the Bulldogs on each side of the ball. The Bulldogs — who haven’t played the Student Princes since 2005 — present a sea of uncertainty.
Jim Deere has been the coach at Adrian for a decade. But there appear to be some changes this season.
“We don’t know what the hell s going on,” said Heidelberg coach Scott Donaldson. “They lost quite a bit. A lot of question marks, but that means you have to prepare for everything.”
But that hasn’t phased Gephart. He said his offense is ready to go.
“I’m excited about it,” Gephart said. “We’ve been working really hard in the offseason, and I think it will come to show this upcoming season.”
Gephart — who was nicknamed “Jimmy Football” for his on-the-field similarities to former Heisman Trophy winner and well-let’s-not-talk-about-his-Browns-career quarterback Johnny Manziel — has impressed Donaldson.
“I think what I want to see is a poised quarterback, someone who will take what the defense allows, continues drives, is very methodical and is able to make a lot of plays,” the coach said. “He can extend plays with his legs, which we really need sometimes.”
Gephart said he believes the offense will need to play with pace.
“I think just keeping a high intensity,” Gephart said. “It’s gonna be the first game of the year, so first-game jitters are gonna be around. But we’ve just gotta play fast, execute and play our ball.”
That means executing and moving the ball down the field.
That’s where tailbacks Branden Short and Jace Groceman come in, as well as receiver Maceo Matthews come in.
“We’ve got to run the ball,” Donaldson said. “We have some really explosive skill position guys, we’ve got clear some room for him and chunk away some yards.
“Biggest thing I want to see steady offense who can run the ball consistently, take shots when we need to take shots,” he said.
Meanwhile, Donaldson wants his defense to be just as steady.
“No. 1 stop the run. That’s the goal every week,” he said.
Donaldson’s other hope is a team that is intense on and off the field.
“I want to see the guys having fun, I want to see the sideline insane, guys cheering for their brother,” he said. “(Where)I’m yelling at them to calm down, the ref is yelling at me and I’m close to getting.a flag. I’d take that as a compliment.”
Kickoff is at 6 p.m.