Matthews has thrown two interceptions this season, and one of them came on a Hail Mary attempt.
“So really, he’s playing mistake-free football,” Dunbar Coach Jerron Joe said. “He’s developing in my offense pretty well. He’s doing very well, actually.”
Fortunately for Matthews – and for Joe, for that matter – the Crimson Tide coaching staff includes two assistants that are well-versed in quarterback skills.
Stadford Brown, the team’s offensive coordinator, played quarterback at Dunbar and at Division II North Carolina Central, where he was named CIAA Offensive Player of the Year as a freshman in 2006. Todd Amis, Dunbar’s quarterbacks coach, tutored several successful quarterbacks, including Emmanuel Yeager, during his time as an assistant at Ballou.
Joe said the overriding philosophy utilized by Brown and Amis is that a quarterback is only as good as his feet, not his arm. With that in mind, they put Matthews through a number of footwork drills this summer with the intention of solving what Joe described as Matthews’s “lazy” drop-backs in the pocket.
Dunbar will need Matthews’s stretch of impressive play to continue Friday when the Crimson Tide plays at No. 5 DeMatha. A solid performance against the Stags (3-0) only would contribute to the haul of scholarship offers Joe said he anticipates will flow Matthews’s way once the player becomes an academic qualifier. Matthews is scheduled to take the SAT on Oct. 6.
“Once [Matthews] takes the test and gets the scores, his offers should start piling in,” Joe said. “A lot of schools are showing interest. They’re just waiting for his scores to come in.”
Good Counsel makes adjustments
After an opening-week loss to Bishop Gorman (Nev.), coaches at top-ranked Good Counsel felt they needed some more aggressiveness near the line of scrimmage.
Despite a number of Division I-bound linebackers, a spark was missing. “We needed some more attackers closer to the line of scrimmage that can play like a Dorian O’Daniel, Akeem Hebron, that Jelani Jenkins-type,” defensive line coach Kevin McFadden said.
The decision was to move defensive back C.J. Jones to outside linebacker. The results have been tremendous. Jones leads or shares the lead for sacks (two), tackles for loss (five) and pass break ups (two) and is among the leaders in tackles (10) and assists (nine).
“I was kind of upset that I was changing positions because it was a position I never played before,” Jones said. “I talked to the coaches and said I had a lot of things to learn. . . . After everything started and I learned some new stuff, I got better with what I was doing.”