By Andrew Glover
MORRISON, Okla. —
Last season, Kyle Collins was looking for the football at the wide receiver position and was focused on running routes for the Morrison Wildcats. Now in his senior season, Collins has had to learn to read coverages to know where to throw the football as the starting quarterback.
“Early on in the season, reading coverages was the biggest challenge since I haven’t done that before,” Collins said. “Coach (Cory) Bales had to really help with that a lot. Throughout the year it’s slowly gotten a lot better.”
Bales said Collins had experience at quarterback playing with the junior varsity, adding the staff let him work his way into the position.
“He’s had the same progressions as everyone else,” Bales said. “It’s just his first time to start on Friday nights. The biggest change is you throw things at him slower at the beginning. He’s where he needs to be at right now.”
Collins said working with his coach helped understand coverages.
“He helped me know what coverages defenses were running and what spots and zones would be open to throw to. It was tough but we got through it.”
In the first round against Fairland last Friday, Collins was 5-for-9 for 83 yards. Bales said he’s seen progress from Collins in passing the ball.
“He’s gotten better each and every week,” Bales said. “He’s done a really great job and has been a good quarterback for us this year.”
Though the Wildcats pass, they’ve primarily been a running team. In the season opener Aug. 31 against Pawnee, the senior quarterback broke a 66-yard touchdown run. In an Oct. 5 game against Yale, Collins scored on a 4-yard run. Last week he scored two touchdowns that put the game out of reach and contributed 39 of the team’s 326 rushing yards.
Collins said the offense has gotten better every week and hopes it continues as Morrison takes on top-ranked Wynnewood in the second round of the playoffs.
“We got to get a lot better,” Collins said. “Hopefully we can go down there, contend and play the hardest we’ve ever played. It’s something you can count on with our football team is play the hardest we can play.”
Bales said he has a good understanding of the offense.
“He’s a good dual threat and runs the ball well and takes care of the football,” Bales said. “That’s probably the biggest thing he’s improved on is taking care of the football. We throw that pick last week but he’s made good decisions on when to tuck and run if no one is open.”
Like most senior quarterbacks at this time of year, Collins hopes there is another game after Friday.
“I’m focused on getting a ‘W’ this week,” Collins said.