QB battle to highlight Busters' preseason scrimmage
By J. LEVI BURNFIN
All eyes will be on the quarterback battle between former Garden City High School standout Jake Curran and freshman Akeem Jones Friday during the Garden City Community College football scrimmage at Buffalo Stadium at 7 p.m.
The duo have split snaps evenly through the first couple of weeks of camp, with both signal callers shining at moments and both also making mistakes at times. Neither has really separated from the other. Yet, the season opener is just nine days away (Aug. 24) and Head Coach Matt Miller knows a decision needs to be made soon.
"I've got to get off my butt and make a decision with who we're going with," he said, also noting that he feels comfortable with either guy. "I don't think I can make a bad decision. I think I can make one that maybe is a little bit better than the other, but I think at some point, each of those guys will play some part in a big game for us this year."
That decision may be influenced in large part in how Curran and Jones perform during the scrimmage. Both players will split snaps and time with the first-team offense, according to Miller.
Other positions on offense may be decided, as well. Specifically, the running back and wide receiver spots where the talent is deep, including running backs Andre Williams and Cortez McCatharn, wide receivers Nile Daniel and Brandon Snell and players who can slot in at either position in Tyreek Hill and Mike Gerst.
However, it seems the offensive line is pretty set. Dontavious Blair and Ryan Williams anchor the front at the tackle positions, alongside Colby Hamel at right guard, who Miller said has really progressed and may join Blair and Williams with offers from Division I schools by the end of the season.
But the center and left guard spots appeared be open before Jason Carreon and Mitch Moore have stepped up during preseason camp.
Carreon, a 2012 Garden City High School graduate, started at left guard for the Busters last season and will make the switch to center this season. Moore was a Garden City High offensive lineman last season and will fill the left guard spot.
On defense, Miller said that nine guys have solidified their spots but would not go into detail as who those nine guys were. That still leaves two spots open for whoever can step up during the scrimmage.
The scrimmage will not be scored and will not be a split squad. Miller compared it more to the scrimmages they have been doing at practice except with the added pressure of people in the stands and under the lights of Buffalo Stadium.
Both the first-team and second-team offense and defense will be on the field at times with many guys playing on both teams, including the quarterbacks, to allow coaches to see their players perform in a game situation as much as possible.
The ultimate goal, however, is to stay healthy.
"I believe in having fresh guys for your first game of the regular season," said Miller.
The Busters have been fortunate to avoid major injuries that require any players to miss the start of the season. There's been the usual camp injuries, slight sprains and strains, but overall it's mostly been fatigue that is hitting the team hard after two long weeks of drills.
Wednesday morning's rain that prompted a cancelled practice was actually sort of a blessing, according to Miller. It allowed the team a morning to rest and rejuvenate.
With only one practice today, the Busters should be refreshed heading into tomorrow's scrimmage.