New Mansfield ISD quarterbacks make their debuts

Posted Monday, Sep. 02, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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With 19 returning starters this season, there was plenty of experience on the field when Legacy lined up against McKinney in the Broncos’ season opener last Friday. But for all that experience, the one area lacking was at quarterback. However, you probably couldn’t tell. In his first start at quarterback, senior Terrence Ivery led his club to a 38-28 road victory, playing turnover-free football and pacing the team’s rushing attack.

“I think he was outstanding; he just led us,” Legacy head coach Chris Melson said. “He made big plays at the right time. That’s what I expected him to do – he’s a winner.”

Ivery was an efficient 8-of-12 passing for 69 yards and added 131 yards on the ground on 13 carries – an average of more than 10 yards per rush. Playing at the varsity level isn’t new to Ivery – he was a receiver for the Broncos last season – but it was his first competitive game calling the plays and taking the snaps.

“It was pretty nerve-wracking. I didn’t know how the crowd would react and I didn’t know how to expect the defense to react. Playing quarterback is totally new to me,” Ivery said. “Even with all the spring practices and going through two-a-days, I still was pretty nervous before the game. Playing quarterback is a pretty big role.”

Ivery admitted that nerves affected him early, but by the second offensive series, he was into the flow of things and the game started to come a little more naturally.

“Our offense is pretty difficult,” he said. “We have a very fast-paced, no-huddle offense. As soon as the ref puts the ball down we’re snapping the ball. I have a lot of reads. I have to read linebackers and ends to determine where to go with the ball. It’s a lot of things to learn to grasp at one time. The second series -- I was more comfortable then.”

Among the new experiences for Ivery was all the analysis and adjustment that goes on between series.

“It’s actually pretty exciting,” he said. “I have to talk to my lineman and ask what they see and tell them what I see. I have to talk to the coaches about what they see. It’s kind of interesting to all come together and figure out some things we can do.”

Melson was impressed with his new starting quarterback, but not surprised.

“He’s got poise. He’s got leadership and he’s tough,” Melson asserted. “He’s got a lot of intangibles that you just can’t coach. That sets the tone for the whole team. He’s got confidence and did an awesome job for his first time out. That’s probably about as bad as he’ll ever play and that was pretty dang good. I think he’ll get better every week and we’re just very excited about him being our quarterback.”

Ivery also felt satisfied with his debut under center for the Broncos.

“I thought I performed pretty well in my first start,” he said. “I made a lot of mistakes and there’s a lot of things that need correcting. I think the next game I’ll be fine. I think I’ve got the hang of it now.”

Despite the successful start to his quarterbacking career, Ivery confesses that he still feels like a receiver and would lean toward playing receiver at the college level.

“I’m still a receiver at heart,” he said. “Quarterback is a very fun position, having to be a leader and all, but if I had to pick one I’d probably go back to receiver.”

Mansfield High breaks in new quarterbacks

The Tigers debuted not one, but two quarterbacks new to varsity football. Junior Aaron Funk got the starting nod against Arlington Bowie last Friday. He shared time with sophomore Caleb Evans.

“I thought they both handled it well in the sense that they looked like they weren’t too nervous. I was proud of both of them,” Mansfield head coach Jeff Hulme said. “Bowie was coming after them with a lot of speed and I think they looked good.

“I think the biggest thing they both saw was just the speed of the game compared to what they were used to last year and to the speed of practice. That was probably my biggest concern about the two quarterbacks,” Hulme added.

Funk finished 2-of-6 for 22 yards while Evans completed 7-of-13 for 53 yards. He also added a 1-yard touchdown run in the Tigers’ 24-9 loss to the Volunteers.

Hulme said he expects Funk and Evans to continue splitting time over the next two non-district games.

“I think there will come a time when we have to go with just one. My goal is by district.”

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