The allure of switching off at the quarterback position has never been a temptation for Friends football coach Monty Lewis.
Typically, Lewis wouldn’t think twice about sticking with fifth-year senior Jayme Bristow, but sophomore Derek Racette has left him with a good problem.
Saturday night was a display of how the two-quarterback system can work in Friends’ 36-14 victory over Saint Mary in a KCAC opener. Bristow was dependable, but it was Racette who threw two touchdown passes and 156 yards to move Friends to 1-1.
“No disrespect to our fifth-year senior Jayme Bristow, but Derek Racette is too good to leave on the boundary,” Lewis said.
Lewis has come up with almost every excuse to leave Racette on the field in some capacity. On Saturday, he threw and ran the ball at quarterback, he lined up at safety, returned punt and even sported a 38.3 yard average punting.
“He would probably struggle at offensive tackle,” Lewis said when asked for a position he wouldn’t play Racette. “Derek is one of those once-in-a-lifetime type of players when it comes to that.”
After Saint Mary briefly challenged the Falcons in the first half, Racette entered and ignited the crowd with a scrambling 33-yard touchdown strike to Taylor Lewis right before halftime for a 22-14 lead.
Saint Mary would not score in the second half.
“I just want to help the team in whatever way they want me to,” said Racette, a product of Hutchinson Trinity. “I trust the coaches and wherever they put me, I just want to make plays to help the team win.”
Meanwhile, Saint Mary’s air raid offense was pillaged by Friends senior end Dexter Davis, who forced two fumbles — one that was recovered in the end zone for a score — and two sacks.
“With the way they have their offense set up, you can barely get to their quarterback,” Lewis said. “So for Dexter to be that disruptive, he just went to another level tonight.”
While Saint Mary quarterback Mike Keese threw for 255 yards, he did so courtesy of 43 attempts, many under the duress with the 6-foot-3, 230-pound Davis barreling toward him.
“He was in our game plan, but at the line of scrimmage I’ve got more important things to worry about than where (Davis) is,” Keese said. “But he is a heck of a player, I will give him that.”
It might be kindly suggested that future opponents learn from that mistake.
“I don’t know if I would say that,” Davis said. “But let’s just say I feel like only I can stop myself.”
FU—Bristow 6 run (Pohlman kick)
SMC—Cooper 60 pass from Keese (Spaulding kick)
FU—Hicks fumble recovery in end zone (Bautista pass from Bristow)
SMC—Mata 4 run (Spaulding kick)
FU—Taylor 33 pass from Racette (Pohlman kick)
FU—Barber 10 run (Pohlman kick)
FU—Bauer 9 pass from Racette (Pohlman kick)
Rushing—Saint Mary, Keese 4-73, Cooper 1-30, Hearn 5-24, Ryan 2-18; Friends, Scott 9-74, Racette 9-44, Hankerson 8-38, Bristow 4-25.
Passing—Saint Mary, Keese 18-43-2-255; Friends, Racette 6-11-0-112, Bristow 8-11-1-78.
Receiving—Saint Mary, Young 7-115, Cooper 4-72, Ryan 2-28, Gomes 2-8; Friends, Kelly 2-56, Butts 3-34, Barber 2-26, Bauer 2-20.