PIGSKIN PREVIEW: Rampants armed for going long
By Jake Keator
The Daily Reflector
Friday, August 17, 2018
J.H Rose has worked to perfect its passing game through years of refinement by head coach Dave Wojtecki.
A combination of length at wide receiver and smart decision-making by senior quarterback Grant Charles Jarman can lead to another successful year through the air, and possibly a reverse of last season’s 3-8 finish.
Jarman threw for 2,375 yards on 180-for-305 passing, which included 26 touchdowns versus 14 interceptions.
Those stats combined to give him a 93.0 quarterback rating. QBR helps assess how efficient and productive a quarterback is on a scale of one to 100.
Despite the team’s down year in 2017, Jarman continued to produce statistically compared with the other quarterbacks in the conference. He finished fourth in total yardage behind Holton Ahlers of D.H. Conley, Dexter McDuffie of South Central and Ezekiel Best of Eastern Wayne. He also finished fourth in passing yardage. Jarman and the Rose offense produced against many different schemes.
On the outside of the Rampants’ formations lie several threats to opposing defenses. Most important of them is senior Ben Harris, who led the Rampants in receiving as a junior with 1,054 yards, ahead of second-leading receiver Grant Humphreys by 595 yards.
At 6-foot-6, Harris has the height and wingspan to make plays, especially against one-on-one man coverage.
“The deep ball has got to be the strongest part of my game,” Harris said. “I’m able to outrun defensive backs, and in the red zone I’m able to out-jump them on the 50/50 balls, which is my strongest suit,” Harris said.
Harris said he understands after his highly successful season last year, cornerbacks and safeties will be working hard to hold him to as little of an impact as possible.
“At this point the passing game looks pretty similar to last year,” Rampants head coach Dave Wojtecki said. “We have a lot of weapons who have been here a long time — Ben Harris, Jake Henry Rogers, Zane Noles, Ethan Boyer and Wesley Shade — we've had them here the whole time, so it looks good.”
Harris is at the top of towering corps that averages 6-4.
“Harris is 6-6, Jake Henry Rogers is 6-5 and Wesley Shade is 6-4,” Wojtecki said. “It’s nice to have that length, and they are strong physical kids as well. We should get 50/50 balls. It’s just nice to have a big target out there for the quarterback.”
As juniors, Harris, Rogers and Shade pulled in a combined 1,530 yards. As a whole, the Rampants offense had 2,500 receiving yards on the season, showing that the production of these new seniors will play a critical role in the overall success of the team.
Due to their extended time on and off the field spent together, Jarman has a good relationship with his receivers.
“It’s good to have that relationship. It’s nice, we are on the same page,” Harris said. “If we want to audible a route, we just look at each other and we know what we want to do. It’s a good connection.”
If Jarman and his offensive group can keep the Rose offense moving down the field, it will be difficult to walk away with a win against the Rampants.