Two seniors in the Keller football team’s backfield have produced the bulk of the Indians’ offense this season. Now, slack will be taken up by other Keller players, as one is out for the season due to injury.
Running back Tyler Tutt and quarterback Caleb Griffin gave Keller a strong start to the season, but since Griffin was injured in the last game of September, the Indians have been putting the offense back on track.
Tutt continues to be the workhorse for Keller, having carried the ball for over 1,500 yards and 19 touchdowns. His carries per game is averaging about 24.
Due to the number of carries Tutt receives, he said he focused on strength and conditioning in the off-season to be able to maintain the level of output.
“I welcome the carries,” Tutt said. “I don’t mind carrying the ball.”
Tutt said his goal this season was to rush for 2,000 yards but knows the window is closing to garner that sort of yardage. He did set a school record for single game rushing yards when he went for 369 earlier this season.
“I was very surprised and didn’t pay attention to it until I got to the locker room,” Tutt said. “I thought I had about 200 or so.”
Griffin, a Sam Houston State signee, earned his way into the lineup this season and has passed for 840 yards and nine scores. He has also added 110 net rushing yards and another three TDs.
Although Griffin is disappointed that he’s relegated to street clothes on game days, he isn’t totally discouraged.
“Injuries are going to happen and you’re going to face adversity,” Griffin said. “Now, I’m studying the game a lot more and from a different perspective.”
Griffin, 6-3 and 220 pounds, said he should be 100 percent healthy within six months after undergoing knee surgery four weeks ago.
If there’s any other disappointment for Griffin, it’s knowing that the offense was clicking with his passing and Tutt’s running. Now, Griffin is focused on helping the current QBs.
“After every series, I ask what he saw and do what I can to help him become a better quarterback,” he said.
Griffin said he’ll use all the experience – regardless of how he acquires it – to help make himself a better quarterback.
Even now, Griffin realizes he needs to get back to improving his footwork. “I focused on that in the off-season but in game situations, my old habits take back over.”
Tutt said Griffin knew how to run the field.
“He knew his position and how to play it,” Tutt said.
Now, Tutt knows his running will have to help set up the passing game for Keller and keep defenses honest.
Tutt, who has signed to play next year at Texas State, doesn’t mind taking on the role of blocker for the passing game.
“I stay in to block, too,” he said, admitting that “I’ve had to work on it and sometimes it hurts,” he acknowledged in giving kudos to the offensive line that does it every play.