Take a pass

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, July 25, 2007

The Selma Times-Journal

Maplesville’s quarterback situation is still a “50-50” proposition, as coach Brent Hubbert puts it.

When the Red Devils play host to their 7-on-7 passing camp today, it will represent one more step toward settling the issue.

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Having gone 16-4 in 20 total 7-on-7 games this summer, it seems Maplesville isn’t missing many steps.

“The quarterback battle has been a good one all summer,” Hubbert said. “M.J. (Marcus Wilson) and Kevin Aaron have been splitting time … We’re looking forward to tomorrow. The kids are excited about it.”

Aaron may have given himself a slight edge by going 7-2 at Spain Park’s passing camp, but Hubbert insists it’s still anyone’s game.

Even without top returning receiver Nick Andrews, the Red Devils’ air attack seems to be efficient. Andrews has sat out this summer after undergoing shoulder surgery but is expected to be back by the start of the season.

Hubbert says he will work both his quarterbacks and will also field his junior varsity players in a separate team.

Linden, Jemison, Autaugaville, Greensboro and Keith have been confirmed to participate in the camp; American Christian, Chilton County and other teams could also be added.

The games begin at 9 a.m. and will run on a simplified scoring and timing system.

Drives start at the 40-yard line with three downs to get to the 25, three more to reach the 10 and three to score. Quarterbacks have four seconds to get a pass off, and touchdowns count for six points. Extra tries from the 5-yard line count for one point and for two from the 10.

Defenses can score two points for a three-and-out and three for an interception.

There will be a 22-minute running clock with no time outs.

Keith is hoping for some success this season with the return of a veteran group.

Although their bread and butter is keeping the ball on the ground, the Bears are looking for every possible opportunity to tweak their game.

“We’re traditionally a running team, but we make a lot of big plays off the passing game because of the play-action pass,” coach Harry Crum said. “With a 7-on-7, everybody knows you’re going to throw. You have to tighten up in the passing game. I just hope we develop some timing.”

Crum sounded a little more concerned about how his team would defend the pass this year.

Junior Brandon Waller and sophomore Ricky Lewis – both three-year starters – and William Pasley in the secondary might ease that worry.

Antonio McCall returns for the Bears at quarterback, but Crum said he might also work multiple players at the position.