Football: Rockville relies on quarterback Chuck Reese; Whitman’s Zac Morton shines


“They’re just spread ’em and shred ’em,” Seneca Valley Coach Kim said of Rockville. “They’re just playing and they’re going. With that kind of pressure on the defense, it’s definitely going to be a challenge.” (Mark Gail/FOR THE WASHINGTON POST)
September 11, 2013

Rockville’s goal is to run plays 13 seconds apart from each other.

That’s a tough task considering most coaching staffs want to communicate with the quarterback after each play. Therefore, the Rams needed someone Coach Seth Kenton could trust with getting teams in and out of plays without a coach’s help.

Enter Chuck Reese, a junior who spent the 2012 season quarterbacking the JV squad. When the Rams decided to overhaul their offense and implement a fast-paced, hurry-up scheme that required as little time as possible between plays, Kenton called on Reese for the job.

Trust was a big factor in this decision.

“That’s kind of how he earned his spot in passing league, knowing that he can make these quick decisions,” Kenton said. “He can read the defense really well and make the checks.”

In his varsity debut against Richard Montgomery last Friday, Reese completed 35 of 45 passes for 295 yards and six touchdowns in a 40-38 Rams win. This, after the Rams were shutout in the first half.

“It feels really good that the coaches have faith in me,” Reese said. “I want to keep doing my best to make them keep having faith in me, to give me more trust and have me call more plays. It’s awesome. I get to step up, read the defense, and my receivers and linemen trust I’ll make the right calls.”

Friday the Rams will run their spread offense against Montgomery County football mainstay Seneca Valley. Screaming Eagles Coach Fred Kim took notice of the new offense on film and believes it could pose a problem for his defense.

“They’re just spread ’em and shred ’em,” Kim said. “They’re just playing and they’re going. With that kind of pressure on the defense, it’s definitely going to be a challenge. They’re a different football team. They’re much better than they have been in years past.”

Last Friday marked the first time since 2009 that Rockville won its season opener. In addition, over the past two seasons, the Rams have only notched one win. Not surprisingly, Rockville’s win over Richard Montgomery garnered some attention.

“We knew we had more weapons this year,” Kenton said. “We knew we were going to be better all along. It’s just weird when other people realize it.”

Reese is relishing the moment of going against a power such as the Screaming Eagles, a team with 12 state titles on its résumé.

“Of course you’re nervous a little bit for the game but I’m excited to get to play a team as good as Seneca Valley is,” Reese said. . . .

It’s been about 20 years since a freshman running back was featured in Seneca Valley’s offense.

The Screamin’ Eagles are now rolling with two.

Freshman backs Adrian Feliz-Platt and Darius Golston are sharing time at the position, becoming the first freshmen since Bryan Blessing to do so since the early 1990s. Blessing went on to become a two-time All-Met Player of the Year.

“It just seems that’s kind of the trend,” Kim said. “These younger guys are getting bigger, stronger and faster, and more mature beyond their years.”

Feliz-Platt carried the ball seven times for 57 yards and two touchdowns in Seneca Valley’s 42-6 win over Wheaton. Golston had three carries for 36 yards and a touchdown. Both figure to factor into Seneca Valley’s game plan Friday against Rockville.

“We’re very fortunate in having guys like Adrian and Darius,” Kim said. “These guys flat out won the job. They’re great football players.”

Around the area

Whitman running back Zac Morton was already a focal point in the Vikings’ offense a year ago, toting the ball 245 times for 1,357 yards.

However, that hasn’t stopped the Vikings at looking for more ways to get their bell cow the ball.

Morton caught six passes for 107 yards and a touchdown, in addition to the 19 rushes for 112 yards and a touchdown he had in Whitman’s 28-0 win over Blake. Statistics like that will put teams on notice for Morton’s dual-threat capabilities.

“He continued doing a lot of the things he’s been doing to help us be successful,” Whitman Coach Jim Kuhn said. “He was a major impact in the game.”

Morton has mostly received recruiting looks from Division III programs, though Kuhn said the running back has been in “constant contact” with FCS upstart UNC Charlotte. The 49ers launched their football program this year and will move to the FBS level and join Conference USA in 2015.

Morton will be in for a tough test Friday with the Vikings hosting Quince Orchard. Kuhn said this added dimension to Morton’s game should continue.

“We created some situations to get him the ball in different ways,” Kuhn said. “That’s what we’ve been trying to do this year.”

McUmber’s 99-yard return

Keenan McUmber, Bethesda-Chevy Chase running back/return specialist, took a kickoff 99 yards for a touchdown last week’s 25-15 win over Churchill.

“I’ve been trained to trust my blockers and wow, I just saw the holes come wide open,” McUmber said.

McUmber also got seven carries for 19 yards and a touchdown, indicating he’ll be an option in the running game moving forward. The Barons host Wootton Friday in a game of contrasting styles.

The Barons will look to use its upset win over Churchill as momentum against a Wootton team that won 41-0 over Johnson last week.

“People have been doubting us so we had to make a statement,” McUmber said.

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