FRIDAY NIGHT SHOWDOWN BETWEEN THE NATION'S #1 QB & LSU'S #1 2022 TARGET: STM vs MADISON PREP
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By LONN PHILLIPS SULLIVAN
Last Friday night, St Thomas More and Madison Prep dueled in what was a highly entertaining 38-35 win for Quency Wiggins & company, coming from behind to hand St Thomas More their first loss since Walker Howard became starting quarterback.
Losing their first game since a wild 52-50 loss vs Catholic High on October 4th 2019, Walker Howard was still dominant:
Recording 308 yards and 3 touchdown passes, while adding a QB keeper rushing TD, Howard finished 23/39...his 58% completion percentage mostly due to the excessive drops from his receiving corps. With hands in his face, Walker would fit outrageous passes through tight windows straight into the stomachs of his receivers, only for STM's receivers to lose their grip; the 2022 LSU commit would make pass-rushers miss, juking them into a coma before unleashing an accurate rocket...only for 5 or 6 crucial passes to go clapping off the hands of his receivers.
These drops would prove costly.
St Thomas More didn't have a bad game, in fact, other than some missed opportunities which hurt them in the end, the Cougars enjoyed a mostly stellar showing against the 3A defending champions.
Although Howard endured an 0-3 start to his passing night, he completed his next 5 attempts (finding WR Jacob Clark down the sideline for a huge gain), the opening drive capped off by RB Jack Stefanski's twisting, turning 10 yard run for a touchdown.
Following a horrifically timed fumble by Madison Prep on their own 24 yard line, Walker Howard showed off his dual threat capabilities: first, rushing for a visionary 20 yard scamper past Wiggins' bullish pressure, through two would-be tacklers and snaking down the sideline....a truly wondrous piece of rushing from Walker that left Quency huffing and puffing, hands on his hips.
All of STM's teasing offensive brilliance was only a prelude to the touchdown, the Cougars cashing in on their early turnover by way of a nice Howard touchdown toss to Hutch Swilley.
A second half QB duel ensued, with Howard going toe to toe vs Madison Prep QB Zeon Criss, both trading scores while the teams swapped turnovers and possessions.
"Walker was as dialed in as always, the fans got their money's worth," STM Coach Jim Hightower said after the game.
What stood out most of all with Walker?
His complete command of the short yardage & intermediary passing game, a huge plus in the eyes of NFL scouts looking for the next Mahomes, Rodgers or Brady:
In 2021 football, the dink & dunk passing game isn't associated with "small ball" or teams who can't run anymore....it's simply the best way to create playmaking scenarios for your athletes on the outside: get them the damn ball as fast as possible and scheme the blocks around the routes....that's it.
Even on the longer developing deep shots, Howard exudes phenomenal proficiency, although STM's running game has become a primary focus of their balanced offensive attack.
Despite never trailing until the final 2 seconds of the game, St Thomas More lost to a clutch field goal from Madison Prep's Calvin Spears, all set up by the near-heroic brilliance of Madison Prep QB Zeon Criss.
But their most high profile player had some telling statements to make, even in victory over the nation's #1 QB:
Talking to The Daily Advertiser after the game, Quency Wiggins said this about the nation's #1 overall QB and 2022 LSU commit:
"I know the hype's real now, he's way better than what I thought."
As for the Madison Prep DE himself, Quency Wiggins proved to be every bit of the 5 star LSU Odyssey have dubbed him all off-season:
Wearing #2 for MadPrep, LSU Odyssey's #1 ranked 2022 DE was constantly reminding his potential future Tigers teammate of his presence, rushing the passer with effective brutality, blowing past blockers and entering the backfield on a regular basis, repeatedly forcing Walker to vacate collapsing pockets.
Sporting brick-house thickness to go alongside his dominant length, Quency isn't top heavy for a young man of his towering stature. Due to his bulkier weight, he's a vicious, omnipresent wrecking ball, constantly raising his arms to effect passing lanes, throwing blockers to the side as if they were sandbags, as well as displaying blistering pace off the line.
Over the course of 4 quarters, Quency Wiggins pursued Walker Howard at all costs, sacking the nation's #1 quarterback twice while supplying 6 direct pressures, 3 hurries, 3 total QB hits, 1 forced incompletion due to his pressure, and another blocked pass by his "Mutumbo rejecting" hands.
Against the nation's best play-extension quarterback, even when Quency wasn't able to apply direct pressure on Howard, Wiggins attracted enough double teams to free up his teammates along the line.
Without a doubt, Quency is the #1 defensive end in the country, showcasing a grinding attack of the run game, relentless pursuit of plays downfield, and a healthy obsession for creating backfield chaos.
No wonder it was a great game those in attendance will never forget:
The best overall offensive force from 2022's class went to battle against the best pass rusher; the results were extraordinary, leaving doubters, skeptics & haters in awe.
2021 STATS (AFTER 2 GAMES):
VS MADISON PREP
308 Passing Yards
33 Rushing Yards
1 Rushing TD
2021 STATS (1 game):
3 QB Hits
3 QB Hurries
1 Forced Incompletion
by LONN PHILLIPS SULLIVAN
Copyright 2021 Uninterrupted Writings Inc SHOUTOUTS: LET'S GEAUX WALKER & QUENCY!!!! LOVE BOTH OF THESE PLAYERS!