Player of the week: Jarvis McCall

Published 12:00 am Thursday, September 8, 2005

You don’t see too many spread offenses or big-play quarterbacks at the 1A level. But if you travel to Dixons Milsl this season for a Marengo Panther game, you’ll see one this season.

His name is Jarvis McCall, senior starting quarterback for Marengo and owner of one of the best statistical games in the state last Friday night. The AHSAA recognized him on its website for having completed 16 of 20 passes for 346 yards and six touchdowns (covering 10, 40, 41, 62, 45 and 60 yards). McCall’s efforts led the Panthers to a big 51-18 smashing of Coffeeville in Marengo’s region opener.

McCall says there was a lot more going on out there than him tossing the ball, though.

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“Our line played their butt off. Our receivers all caught the ball. They made the big plays. It was a total team effort,” he says. “It was just fun being out there with my friends… It was a big boost for our confidence. Our confidence is way up, especially after the loss to Essex. There’s no telling what we can do now.”

The win–and McCall’s performance–were a product of the many intensive hours he put in over the summer learning new coach Travis Carswell’s spread offense.

“The WHOLE summer,” he says with a laugh. “Everyday we were working. But we’re way better than last season. [The offense] just seems to be my style. I’m glad we got the win.”

Despite his QB’s sudden success, Carswell says that McCall has been “in the doghouse” recently and in fact did not start either of the Panthers’ two games thus far. But Carswell is confident his brand of “tough love” will help McCall become one of the region’s best QBs when the season is over an done with.

“I’m his position coach, so he has the hardest job out there,” Carswell says. “He did a good job over the summer. He’s been well-drilled as far as reading coverages. He sees a lot of things. He just needs experience on the field.”

McCall admits that from time to time he’s had to bite his tongue when hearing it from his coach, but says just as quickly that he’s plenty happy to have him around–and be on a winning football team.

“Yeah, he’s riding me all the time,” McCall says. “But he’s cool to hang around. He’s a good coach.”

After all, winning only football that much more fun.

“It’s the best feeling in the world,” McCall says. “Just going through a game with your friends…it just don’t get any better.”