|
|
Examiner
  • Bill Althaus: QB overcomes pressure of facing former team

    • email print
  • I'm sure that sometime during the past week, Ian Brown helped a little old lady across the street, rescued a trembling kitten from a tree limb and spent time reading children's books to a group of orphans.
    I mean, the new Blue Springs High School quarterback is just too good to be true.
    He went into Friday night's highly anticipated matchup against Rockhurst, a team he played for last year, with a world of confidence and a golden right arm.
    Dealing as much on-field pressure as he has ever faced in his young life, all Brown did was set the stage for a 22-7 Wildcat victory by completing 13 of 17 passes for 239 yards and all three touchdowns.
    And for the second week in a row, he found Kaleb Prewett with seconds left before the half to complete a Hail Mary touchdown pass.
    “What that young man did tonight is remarkable,” said former Wildcats coach and activities director Tim Crone, who does color for the KCWJ 1030 AM broadcasts of all Wildcat home games.
    Wildcats coach Kelly Donohoe backed that comment.
    “He handled the pressure of this week with so much class,” Donohoe said, after his reigning Class 6 state champions improved to 3-0 on the season with Brown helming the offense. “He works so well with his receivers and he does a great job running the offense.
    “He's playing his former team, he's playing in front of thousands of fans, and he makes it all look so easy. And he's such a perfectionist that I know the few mistakes he made will be all he's thinking about.”
    Although the Wildcats made an uncharacteristic nine penalties for 70 yards, Brown always seemed to rally the troops following a miscue.
    He hit the multi-talented Prewett, who has committed to play defensive back at Kansas State, on an 88-yard bomb to give the Cats an early 10-0 lead and then hooked up with Prewett on a 38-yard Hail Mary pass at halftime.
    “Both those plays were all Kaleb Prewett,” said Brown, who moved to Blue Springs because of a family medical condition. “He used his speed to beat the defense and I just had to get him the ball.”
    Prewett, who finished with four receptions for 127 yards, had a different interpretation of the play.
    “Ian's so good, and has such a strong arm,” Prewett said, “if you get open, you're going to get the ball. I don't know why, but Rockhurst was in this prevent defense and I just ran by the guy and he didn't come after me.
    Page 2 of 2 - “Ian threw a perfect pass and that was pretty much it.”
    Darrius Shepherd, who caught four touchdown passes from Brown last week and added a third-quarter TD reception of 31 yards Friday night, said, “Ian's a stud. He can play. He had so much pressure this week and tonight and he goes out and has a great game. That tells you what kind of player and person he is.”
    Something else tells you what type of person Ian Brown is.
    When asked to part of a preseason interview earlier this year, Brown begged off, saying, “I haven't done anything to write about. Write about the players who are back who helped this team win a state championship last season.”
    Very impressive, but there's more.
    While many players dream of seeing their names in a headline, Brown just wants to be one of the guys who help the Wildcats claim a repeat state championship.
    He politely declined to be part of a feature story this week leading up to the Rockhurst game. He thought it might be a distraction.
    “We love the kid, and you can see why,” Donohoe said. “We've only been around him for a short period of time, and he's a better kid than he is a player – and he's a great player.”
    After waiting for me to wrap up an interview with Wildcat defensive linemen Carlos and Khalil Davis Friday night, Brown opened up a bit about the pressure of the week.
    “You have to approach it as just another game, another opponent, but for me, it wasn't another game or opponent,” Brown said. “I know every guy on that Rockhurst team, and I wanted to play well tonight. It was important to go out and represent Blue Springs and help us win this game.”
    As he walked out the locker room, I'm sure he was looking for a stranded motorist he could assist or a teammate who needed some help with his homework because Ian Brown is just that kind of guy.
    Bill Althaus is a sports writer and columnist for The Examiner. Reach him at 350-6333 or bill.althaus@examiner.net. Follow him on Twitter: @AlthausEJC
      • calendar