Junior Hunter Briner has made plenty of plays as a wide receiver for the Red Land Patriots the past few seasons.
His solid 6-foot, 190-pound build and athleticism prompted the coaching staff to start thinking about a bigger role for Briner. A few weeks ago, he started taking snaps at quarterback in the wildcat formation.
He was back there again early in the second half Friday, as Red Land rolled to an eventual 48-16 win over the visiting Mechanicsburg Wildcats.
"It just to give us a little different look," Red Land head coach Chad Weaver explained after the game. "It makes it a little bit harder to defend."
Running a form of the read option, Briner kept the ball most plays and ran it through the middle of the Mechanicsburg defense. Briner carried for 9, 12 and 13 yards as the Patriots rolled down the field.
Facing a third-and-2 at the Wildcat 22-yard line, Briner took the snap and rolled to his right. He appeared to have the corner and a first down, but he rose up and fired a pass into the deep flat — and into tight coverage.
Wide receiver Zi Reevey gathered in the perfectly thrown pass and rumbled down to the 7-yard line to set up a first-and-goal. Derek Cline would score two plays later to make it 41-0.
After the game, Weaver said the coaches are letting Briner throw the ball if he sees something he likes.
"He's just a great athlete," the coach said. "It's just really nice to get the ball in his hands."
Running back Justin Johnson had his typical strong game, running for 105 yards and scoring touchdowns both running and receiving. Mechanicsburg (0-8, 0-4) generated little offense until the game was out of reach. Backup quarterback Dylan Smith came on to throw a 45-yard touchdown to wide receiver Rhashad Scales in the fourth quarter.
Red Land (3-5, 1-3) moves on to face Bishop McDevitt.
"If we can go in there with some effort, and try to make some plays, we'll take it from there," he said.
RLa — Justin Johnson 11-yard run (Stout kick) 8:26
RLa — Johnson 13-yard pass from Jake Radic (Stout kick) 11:51
RLa — Chad Stout 40-yard kick 8:32
RLa — Stout 34-yard kick 4:23
RLa — Radic 1-yard run (Stout kick) 1:15
RLa — Briner 5-yard pass from Radic (Stout kick) 7:39
RLa — Derek Cline 2-yard run (Stout kick) 00:48
Mech — Zak Huth 30-yard run (Cain Fullerton pass from Jaryn Ruth)10:18
Mech — Rhashad Scales 45-yard pass from Dylan Smith (James Shyrock pass from Smith) 5:27
RLa — Jordan Wheldon 1-yard run (Stout kick) 00:47
MechRLaFirst downs416Rushes-yards19-11341-223Passing7-128-15Passing yards7091Total yards183314Punts6-1642-30.5Fumbles-lost3-21-0Penalties-yards11-705-49
Rushing — Mech, Elijah Strawbridge, 7-28. Zak Huth, 5-78. Brendan Wewer, 4-(-4). Chris Torres, 2-3. Rhashan Scales, 1-8. RLa, Johnson, 22-105. Jake Radic, 1-1. Nathan Stahl, 1-1. Jordan Weldon, 8-49. Hunter Briner, 7-53. Cline, 1-2. Kyle Campbell, 1-12.
Passing — Mech, Wewer, 2-5-(-3)-0. Smith, 5-7-73-0. RLa, Radic, 7-13-76-0. Jack Hertzog, 0-1-0-0. Briner, 1-1-15-0
Receiving — Mech, Rhashad Scales, 1-45. Rhashan Scales, 2-(-3). Michael Beatty, 1-13. Michael Humes, 1-0. Torres, 1-5. Ruth, 1-10. RLa, Briner, 2-5. Kyle Campbell, 2-35. Zi Reevey, 1-15. Joe Crocenzi, 1-10. Johnson, 1-13. Noah Parson, 1-13.