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Young QB, Rockets still shine

By JONAH ROSENBLUM | Staff Writer Published: September 27, 2017 4:00 AM
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Colin Boldin has adjusted quickly -- and smoothly -- to varsity football.

That doesn't mean the freshman has locked up Streetsboro's starting quarterback position for the next three years.

The Rockets (2-3, 1-1 PTC Metro), it seems, are filled with a stable of young quarterbacks ready to take over when Will Butler graduates.

With Butler out with an ankle injury, Boldin has stepped to the forefront, going 6-for-7 in his first start -- against defending champion Woodridge, no less.

"His one incompletion didn't hit the ground, either," Streetsboro coach Pete Thompson joked.

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It was a pick-six. Everything else was perfect.

"Part of our game plan was to milk the clock. He did that magnificently," Thompson said. "For a 14-year-old kid to step into that kind of environment and really make one mistake in the game, you couldn't ask for anymore than that."

But Boldin isn't alone in the chase to take snaps for the Rockets.

Sophomore Josh Saucier was set to back up Butler before tearing ligaments in his thumb. Freshman Tyler Bodovetz split repetitions with Boldin last year on the eighth-grade squad, and will also compete for time next season. (He is currently out with a broken arm.)

So it's a full house in Streetsboro, but Boldin is off to one heck of a start. Despite Boldin's youth, Thompson allowed him to audible between multiple running plays -- an honor normally reserved for his senior signal-callers.

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"I've never done this with any quarterback except senior quarterbacks," Thompson said. "He's a very intelligent kid."

That was something Thompson and his coaching staff noticed all week in practice. He said they were impressed by Boldin's ability to grasp the Streetsboro offense.

That said, Boldin could go back to the bench Friday, as Butler, a senior, remains day-to-day.

Whoever stands under center against Field (0-5, 0-2), he will benefit from an improving run game and offensive line.

Thompson said his line had plenty to learn this season, switching from zone blocking in the past to five different schemes in 2017.

"We've got counter schemes, we've got gap schemes, isolation schemes, trap schemes," Thompson said. "Each one has its certain nuances and feels a little bit different than the other."

Over time, the Rockets have adjusted to their new schemes -- and solidified their starting lineup. They now have Nick Robinette at right tackle, Jacob Deevers at right guard, Cam Fischer at center, Toriano Bobbitt at left guard and Derek Hamper at left tackle. Despite only being a sophomore, Fischer has been able to snap the ball well, with Streetsboro running plenty of shotgun. Buoyed by a solid line, Rockets running back Russell Kendall was able to average five yards a carry Friday against the Bulldogs.

"I feel that our offensive line has started to gel," Thompson said. "At the beginning of the season, we really weren't set up personnel-wise up there. We had a couple of injuries. We've juggled some guys up front with the positions. We've been consistent the last couple of weeks."

In truth, whether it's under center or on the line, the Rockets are young as can be all over, with six sophomores and two freshmen absorbing significant snaps Friday night.

"A puppy will bite," Thompson said. "You don't want him to make mistakes, but you understand if a 14-year-old kid or a 15-year-old kid makes mistakes. Your hope is that when they're 17 or 18, they're not making those mistakes."

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