Battle of arms

Published 12:00 am Friday, September 28, 2007

The Selma Times-Journal

For those wondering how the quarterback competition in Concordia’s football practice is going, so are the two players involved.

Coach Shepherd Skanes likely won’t make a decision until today about whether Anthony Gibson or freshman Antron Clark will get the start at Tuskegee Saturday.

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As with any similar situation, there are pros and cons to each choice.

“Gibson is No. 1 right now, but he’s only taken 25 percent of the snaps all season,” Skanes said. “It would be easy for me to say he’s the guy that’s going to start. But Clark can make the reads and step up in the pocket and make throws. I want Anthony to know he’s being pushed. I’ll tell Anthony to sit down in meetings, and I tell Antron to sit right next to him. Whoever it is, it’s not going to be given to them.”

Gibson, who started last Saturday against Morehouse, is the natural choice to take the ball. His 5-foot-11, 260-pound frame earned him the nickname “Bruce Eugene,” in reference to the rotund, strong-armed former quarterback at Grambling State.

But Gibson has a long way to go before anyone starts calling him a “Round Mound of Touchdowns.”

For one, he has to work on his composure in the pocket.

“I noticed (Morehouse) started getting to me around the second quarter,” Gibson said. “I thought I settled down later in the game. We had some momentum going, but when they made that strip (on running back Demario Kilow), that really took momentum away from us. Right now, I know I’m still the starter, but that may change by Saturday. This betters me by pushing me in practice.”

The left-handed Clark provides a style more similar to the one shown before Ken Johnson went down with ligament tears in his knee.

Clark made accurate throws in the pocket and on the move in practice and can do as much work with his legs.

But the only live collegiate snaps he has taken came mostly in cleanup duty last game.

He’s aware of the challenge of playing against a team that is ranked No. 25 in Division II and has given up just 5.7 points per game.

“I’m excited; I’ve heard they could be a Division I school,” Clark said. “They’ve got a good, high-powered program. I’m a little worried about their defense, but I feel if the offensive line blocks like they know how to block, we’ll be all right.”