West quarterback Rother continues to improve
By BY CLAY WHITTINGTON - CWHITTINGTON@VICAD.COM
Oct. 13, 2011 at 5:13 a.m.
Updated Oct. 14, 2011 at 5:14 a.m.
In the film room, Victoria West head coach Leonard McAngus enjoys watching his starting quarterback.
More important than seeing him on the screen, however, is seeing him in a chair.
After throwing a total of eight interceptions in three losses to open the season, Warriors quarterback Garrett Rother has turned his season around.
The junior bounced back by leading West to consecutive non-district victories before posting the most efficient performance of his young career in a disappointing 49-41 district-opening home loss to Beeville last week.
One of the biggest keys to Rother's recent success is his dedication to studying opponents and breaking down defenses before ever stepping foot on the field.
"He spends a lot of time watching film," McAngus said. "He is very in tune with what he is going to see or at least what we think we are going to see."
The hours of homework are visible in his stats.
Through the first three games, Rother completed 36 of 77 passes for 394 yards and one touchdown, while West averaged just 11.3 points per game. He also had eight interceptions, including a season-high four on the road against Corpus Christi King.
But in the Warriors' last three contests, the offense has posted a combined 107 points with Rother personally accounting for 54 of them.
In addition to three rushing scores, Rother has completed 58.9 percent of his passes (33-56) for 509 yards, six touchdowns and just one interception.
Against Beeville, Rother was 18 of 28 passing for 252 yards and three touchdowns with an additional 118 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 15 carries.
The effort came in a costly loss, though, making Friday's road game at Floresville (3-3, 0-1 District 30-4A) critical to both teams' playoff possibilities.
As expected, Rother is already familiar with the Tigers.
"I'm always watching film of teams before we play them," the quarterback said. "I've been watching how the [Tigers] players react to certain pass routes and what they show in certain coverages.
"Now, I've got a better knowledge of it, so when I see it, I'll know how to react to it."
Equally important to Rother's progression as a quarterback is simply having a few games under his belt.
"In the first games, it was a totally new experience to me, being the first time I'd ever started in a varsity football game," Rother said. "There were definitely a lot of jitters, but, after playing [several] games, I've kind of sunk in and settled in, and that doesn't effect me like it did."
Along with his new found passing proficiency, Rother has also rushed for at least 100 yards in two of the last three games.
It's a trend McAngus hopes will continue.
"In the style of offense we are running, it almost a must because a lot of times we have just one back in shotgun," the coach said. "Our misdirection, a lot of times, is done through our quarterback.
"It's real important because he keeps the defense balanced. They can't zero in on one thing, and it keeps us balanced offensively, which is what we want to be able to do."
Regardless of whether he is asked to pass or run, one thing is for sure: Rother will be prepared.