Just because Maize graduated quarterback Connor Lungwitz doesn’t mean it will cease to throw and throw often.
Coach Gary Guzman promises the Eagles will still attempt to replicate its high-octane offense from the Lungwitz era, just in a different version.
Hunter LaMunyon, a 6-foot-3 junior, has the keys to the offense and possesses the arm and the legs to make the offense go. But how quickly he adjusts to reading defenses and making decisions will determine if Maize can maintain its explosive reputation.
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“We’re going to do what (LaMunyon) can handle,” Guzman said. “We’ll still be able to throw the ball. We may not be able to throw the long ball as well, but it just depends. It would be nice to throw the football the way we’ve been able to the last few seasons.”
Maize’s offense will be primarily composed of unknown quantities entering the season. Dalyn Johnson is back after being thrown in halfway through his freshman season to play running back in one of the toughest leagues in the state, but the Eagles must replace nearly their entire receiving corps.
Junior Jake Taylor has impressed at wideout this summer, but has no varsity experience. LaMunyon thinks this may actually give Maize an advantage.
“Nobody really knows anything about us, but I think that can be good for us,” LaMunyon said. “We have a bunch of new guys, but we have a bunch of playmakers and I think they’re going to step up for us this season. I don’t think it will be a problem.”
Braden Fountain and Konner Swenson are the foundation on the offensive line, but Guzman still is looking for three others to join them and match their level.
The defense, which was prone to finding itself in those shootouts last season, still needs work. Guzman must replace the majority of its starters, but feels confident that a strong junior class, led by Chandler Kelley at free safety, can resurrect the unit.
“We went to team camp this summer and I liked the way our guys looked,” Guzman said. “We kind of got a picture, but it’s not a true picture. We feel like we have some players who can step up and do some good things, but you’re really not sure until you get into a live situation against another team.”