Of the games played this season one of the more anticipated was Columbine versus Mullen. A contrast in styles, Mullen is a offensive minded team filled with athletic playmakers. For Columbine, Head Coach Andy Lowry’s run first, run always, mentality was on display as his Rebels eventually forced the Mustangs into submission 35-13.
Both teams boast multiple college level players, but two, Marcus McElroy of Mullen and Chris Reese of Columbine stood out. McElroy, Mullen’s 6-1 205 pound junior running back, for good reason, does not lack attention. The young back is a multi-tool player that excels in all aspects of running back play. Every time I watch McElroy, I’m most impressed by his patience. Running behind a solid Mullen offensive line, McElroy takes his time, waits for the hole to develop and then uses his speed to hit the hole and go. Multiple times last night McElroy stretched the play, planted, made the first tackler miss and had a big run. All these attributes came together when McElroy busted a 50 yard TD run. Last night, like all his games, McElroy made plays running, catching and returning the football.
For Columbine DT/OT combo Chris Reese stood out for his tenacious, high motor play on both sides of the ball. Originally an H-back on offense, injury has forced Reese to move to the offensive line. Solid as a new starter on O, Reese’s future is on the defense line. In Mullen’s front Reese lines up as a defensive tackle, but the 6-5 230 pounder is a natural 4-3 defensive end. Reese’s time on the inside, especially as he gains weight, will allow him to play outside in a 3-4 front. Further, Reese, a very good basketball player, could play with his hand off the ground on the edge.
Beyond these two, multiple other players stood out for both squads.
Jake Lowry, Columbine’s QB is a tough, smart three sport athlete who could do well at the next level as a safety or slot. If he is interested, a small school would be smart to make him an offer.
I watched Columbine tackle JT Gentry most the game and feel he has potential as a guard at the next level. Like all Columbine linemen he is physical at the point of attack. At times Gentry played too high but that is easily fixed.
On both teams no athlete was more physically impressive than Mullen safety Adrian Jackson. At 6-2 205 pounds the sophomore is a man. Also, the youngster is comfortable in and out of the box. Keep an eye on this player.