Thomas Jefferson's Steve Scott?
One of the main question marks that surrounded the Thomas Jefferson High
School Football Team entering this season was at the
After all, Brian Dawson, who had led the Jaguars deep into the WPIAL
playoffs for two straight years,
had graduated. As a freshman, he is now
the starting signal caller at Washington & Jefferson University.
Steve Scott has answered that question - with an exclamation point.
All he has done is completed 40 of 63 passes for 646
yards. Scott had more
passing yardage than anyone in the entire WPIAL, after the first two weeks
of the season. "He's just
taken charge of the position," said TJ football
coach Bill Cherpak. "He's not real vocal, but he's really become a leader
us on the field." This especially surfaced Friday night, in what may
have been Scott's crowning moment in the young season.
Sure, Scott put up
sparkling numbers, completing 13 of 19 passes for 184 yards and two
touchdowns in the 16-14 win over West
perhaps, he led his team on the drive that set up Mike Virgin's 34-yard
game-winning field goal. The
four-minute, 60-yard scoring march sealed a
win that Scott said his team desperately needed against a Class AAA
Conference rival. "It was huge," Scott admitted. "Coming off the
loss against Peters Twp. (last week), we knew we had to
win. We knew it
was going to be a tough game, but it was a must-win situation. It was fun.
I was getting a lot of help from
my teammates, with some nice catches and
good protection." Scott, 6-0, 175 - actually had to win the job as
caller in the pre-season. Win it he did, to go along with
his starting free safety duties.
In the early part of the season, Scott has been needed to carry a good
portion of the offensive load for the Jaguars. Injuries
starting running backs Tom Jura (back) and Tom Blaze (knee). Blaze did
return Friday after limited time the
second week of the season. Jura has
yet to play, but may return this week.
"We've been passing a lot, more
than we thought," Scott explained. "We've been doing alright with it. I
just hope we keep on
winning. Scott has liked the part he has played in
the Jaguars' wins. Scott said that before this year he enjoyed playing
the defensive side of the football a little more than offense. That has
changed since he has had the chance to be the
so-called "main man" of the
offense. "I used to like defense. Offense has been more fun this year,
with us airing it out,"
Scott admitted. "But it's pretty fun to play
defense. I like to make some tackles."
Scott, who runs a 4.7 in the 40,
hopes that his career on the gridiron continues at the collegiate level.
said Scott's future may be on defense. "Colleges are
looking for that strong rifle arm, and that's not him," Cherpak says.
he's got the mind for it." Whatever Scott's skills are, Cherpak has
confidence in his quarterback's ability to get the
job done. "His arm is
strong enough to get the ball where it needs to be," Cherpak said. "That's
all that matters. I don't
expect him to throw the ball 70 yards downfield.
He doesn't have to."
Scott has had one of the
best seats in the house over the last two years, while Dawson took the
Jaguars to the WPIAL Class AAA
quarter-finals in 1997 and the WPIAL
semi-finals last season. He said he was able to learn a lot from watching
was extremely calm in all situations," Scott said of Dawson.
"What you have to do is keep your composure." That lesson
in the game-winning drive Friday night. "Everyone was getting all
excited," Scott said. "I had to keep them
control." "He's picked
up a lot of things Brian did," Cherpak added. "He doesn't make mental
mistakes. That's from watching
Brian, studying the game and watching the
game." He's passing well and providing good leadership.
that, yes indeed, Scott has answered any questions that may have surrounded
the Thomas Jefferson quarterback