With Davis Mills out, Johnathan Rose fills in as the Spartans Quarterback

Monte Greene, Staff Writer

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Jonathan Rose was called into the spotlight to fill the starting quarterback position after senior Davis Mills suffered a possible season ending injury just days before the season opening game against Lovett. Davis Mills is the number one pro-style quarterback in the entire nation, but after injuring his knee during a non-football related incident, senior Jonathan Rose must step up to fill this role.

In the previous season, Jonathan was the starting outside linebacker on defense. He was supposed to be one of the biggest parts of the defense this season, possibly the most experienced and talented player on the defensive side of the ball. “I’ve played football my entire life,” Rose said, “I was going into the season ready to knock some heads and make some great plays on defense, but sometimes you have to be ready for the unexpected so that the team can win.”

The Spartans heard about Mills’ injury less than a week before their first game against one of their biggest rivals, the Lovett Lions. With Jonathan on offense, the Spartans have a void in one of the most important positions on defense, outside linebacker. Coach Woodward, the defensive coordinator for the Spartans, was nervous going into the first game. “It’s hard going into the first game of the season with one of your biggest defensive contributors having to play on the other side of the ball. We have some serious struggles trying to fill his role because he was such a big part of the offense. But clearly we need him on offense so we will find a way to adapt.”

When the day the Spartans played Lovett finally came, Jonathan was definitely feeling the pressure. “I’m not gonna lie, I was really nervous. During practice the day before I was really feeling well, but when it came to pre-game warm-ups, I couldn’t seem to throw the ball in the right spots, and I was getting really worried about how I would perform during the game.”     Apparently those pregame jitters were just that, pregame jitters. Rose performed as good as one could when put into a situation like this. The Spartans beat the Lions 31-6 where Jonathan threw for 175 yards and rushed for two touchdowns. Coach Hardy was ecstatic after the game. “That was a great win for us. Jonathan really stepped up and performed great. The defense also stepped up and if it wasn’t for the great plays they made, we probably would have lost that game.”

With the first game of the season out of the way, Jonathan started to feel really comfortable in his position. “I was really unprepared going into the game against Lovett. I spent barely any time at quarterback, but coach Hardy was able to simplify the game plan so that I felt comfortable,” Jonathan said.

The next game of the season was against the powerful Westminster Wildcats. The Wildcats had won state the previous year at the 3A division, and the Spartans where still trying to figure out the best way for Jonathan to be comfortable at quarterback. After an hour and a half rain delay, the game ended going into overtime. “This was a huge time for Jonathan and our entire team to show what they were made of,” Hardy said, “I asked the team to get a win so that we could prove any doubters out there that we were still a great team, and they did that and even more.”

As the rest of the season is concerned, Davis is supposed to be healed up and back on the field sooner than first diagnosed. “I feel good about the team even with Mills being out. Obviously you can’t replace someone like Davis Mills, but Jonathan is a competitor, he’s a leader, he’s one of our team captains, and everybody loves him. After seeing him play Lacrosse in the spring, I know that no matter what situation he is put in, he will find a way to adapt and get the job done. So I feel really good about the rest of this season with Jonathan at QB.”

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