(Azusa)- Nick Owens, 6’0-210 junior transfer from Moorpark City College, has been named Azusa Pacific’s starting quarterback going into the season opener against UC Davis next week.
“It was one of the tougher decisions we had to make,” said Cougars offensive coordinator Rudy Carlton. “But in the end we feel like Nick is the guy that gives us the best chance to win.”
With seven quarterbacks on the roster Carlton says he’s never had so much talent at the position from top to bottom. In the end it came down to Owens, Justin McPherson and Tyler Tuiasosopo.
“It was a tough battle the first two weeks of camp. Each guy played well but Nick has got all the all the tools and intangibles to run the system well.”
The number two spot is still up for grabs, but McPherson is nursing an issue with his achilles so Tuiasosopo will be the back up against Davis.
“There’s always a balance as a coach between preparing your team and for your opponent. It doesn’t matter who you play or what scheme you run if you don’t execute your own. So the first two weeks of camp we focus on building a well oiled machine, gaining continuity passing and running the ball,” said Carlton about the struggle of building a team and preparing for an opponent. “We’ve transitioned to preparing for Davis now, but we really do both.”
In the backfield sophomore Terrell Watson will be the featured guy. “Physically I think he can carry a heavy load.”
In the mix at running back will be speed guy Ronald Douglas and David Trifeletti, who Carlton says always equals yards on the field.
A player to keep an eye on is Kyle Dravis who will line up in the backfield and at receiver.
Speaking of receivers Tanner Henry should be the lead guy along with Mike Martens, a freshman out of Centennial High in Bakersfield, getting a lot of looks. Ed Dillihunt, a bounce back from Fresno State will also see action.
The lead tight ends will be Eric Meiniefield and Kevin Schick. Former Gladstone quarterback Paul Flores, now a tight end, has had a nice off season and will see playing time as a back up.
“To tell you the truth,” says Carlton. “We’re just ready to start hitting somebody else.”
Cougar Notes: APU will leave Wednesday for its Thursday night game, August 30th, at UC Davis…Davis plays in college football’s 1AA Division…Former Charter Oak quarterback Travis Santiago has been extremely impressive according to Carlton. He’s currently on the bubble in regards to making the travel squad after rolling his ankle in a scrimmage. The Cougars coaching staff sees options in using both Sangtiago and former Rancho Cucamonga quarterback Dimitri Morales strategically in different places on the field…Wide receiver Andre Hill, a junior transfer from UMass, was impressive in camp but tore his ACL and is done for the year…Former San Dimas standout Kevin Kolbeck, down for a number of weeks because of heat related issues, is now back in uniform and attempting to work his way up the depth chart…Making the roster were two other former San Dimas players; Nico Barbone at linebacker and Alec Zenner on the offensive line.
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