Cameron Jones had a built-in advantage when he inherited the starting quarterback job at Westside this season.
The senior wasn’t stepping into a foreign situation the way many first-year starters must.
Jones played extensively last season as a junior, filling in for starter Orrin McFadden in a number of blowout wins. As it turned out, 12 of Westside’s 13 games ended in blowouts, so Jones took snaps in nearly every game. The wins were so big, that Jones played the entire second half in some games and got in the first half of others.
He passed for close to 300 yards and a touchdown while completing more than 60 percent of his passes. But he didn’t get a chance to throw the ball a lot when the Seminoles went to a run-heavy offense with big leads in blowouts.
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“He played a lot,” wide receiver Ronnie Carswell said following the Seminoles’ win over Forest Park. “He played with the starters last season, so we knew what he could do.”
Westside head coach Sheddrick Risper had little concern that Jones could handle the starting quarterback job heading into the season.
“We had confidence that Cameron could come in and do the job,” Risper said earlier this season. “He can lead the offense, and he can do what we ask of him. But he has help ,too. We feel like we can run the ball. We have some good receivers.”
Risper had been right so far.
The Seminoles (3-0) have had little dropoff offensively from last year’s 12-1 offensive juggernaut, which topped the 50-point barrier five times last season.
Carswell has slid into the role Danny Madison, the Associated Press Class AAAA Offensive Player of the Year in 2008, filled as a gamebreaking wide receiver, while Adrian Bentley has taken over at fullback for Marcus Wilson. Rick Merritt has become the secondary receiver that Carswell was a year ago.
The one constant has been running back Robert Brown, who rushed for more than 1,300 yards as a junior. Brown has rushed for 545 yards in three games this season.
“(Bentley and I) want to take the pressure off Cameron,” Brown said after the Seminoles’ first game. “He doesn’t have to go out and win games by himself. We all work together.”
Brown and Bentley, who has 200 yards and three touchdowns, have managed to do just that. Their success has forced defenses to focus on stopping the run.
Jones, meanwhile, has thrown for 342 yards and three touchdowns with no interceptions while completing 60 percent of his passes.
“I think we have a lot of weapons on offense,” Carswell said. “We have the running backs, we have the receivers, and we have the quarterback. It’s hard to stop all of that.”