Future opponents watching last week's film of Scotus' 40-23 win at West Point-Beemer likely left the meeting room with a little extra sweat on their brow.
As expected, they saw quarterback Tyler Palmer juking out tacklers and accelerating past defenders. A quick review of his season stats probably told them to expect as much.
But what had to be most concerning was Palmer completing 12 passes, throwing for 256 yards and three touchdowns and doing more than finding backs and receivers near the line of scrimmage and letting them do the rest.
Coach Tyler Linder said two of Palmer's touchdown passes were perfect strikes. He hit Garrett Oakley for the first score of the game on a 25-yard pass then later zipped in another to Oakley from 47 yards out to make it 20-0 at halftime.
In between, was an 11-yard catch by Luke Przymus that was more of the catch-and-run variety.
Granted, West Point-Beemer played aggressively with its defensive backs and corners near the line of scrimmage, giving Oakley, Dalton Borchers and tight end Levi Robertson the chance to win one-on-one battles and find open space. But with the size of Scotus pass catchers, if balancing the attack with a threat through the air becomes a regular occurrence, these Shamrocks could have the most explosive offense in Class C-1.
"They really sold out on stopping our run game and really did a nice job in the first half of taking away some of our more traditional plays. Credit to them. They had a really good defensive game plan. But it's really hard to stop our offense when we've got a wealth of talent to spread," Linder said. "Guys like Dalton and Garrett had nice games as receivers and Luke caught a nice little underneath route for a score.
"They really packed guys in the box, which left our receivers one-on-one quite a bit."
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Palmer's completions included gains of 24, 25, 5, 74, 9, 11, 47, 9, 26, 5, 17 and 4. At 57 percent, he wasn't overly impressive in terms of consistency. But in terms of efficiency, more than 12 yards per attempt, he was off the charts.
Oakley caught the two touchdown passes and had 76 yards receiving. Przymus caught just two and had 35 yards to go with his touchdown. Borchers led the way with six catches and 134 yards.
"It's exciting to see those guys get rewarded. They make a living blocking for us, but when we dial up a pass, we expect them to win those one-on-one battles, to run crisp routes," Linder said. "They did a great job."
West Point-Beemer may be an anomaly once the rest of the season plays out, but Scotus doesn't think so. The Shamrocks think they've got opposing coaches now playing a game of Russian roulette, or forcing them into a situation of picking their poison.
Those options seem to come down to two choices - load the box and let SCC's tall receivers make big plays down the field or back off and become vulnerable to Palmer and Eric Mustard ripping off big runs.
"It's a great feeling for us confidence-wise, but another thing that's great about it is teams now really have to prepare for both," Linder said. "Teams might only focus a few minutes a week on our pass plays. Now, they're really going to have to spend some quality time on their 7-on-7 skeleton look and take some time away from the inside run preparation. That will be really valuable for us going down the stretch."
Nate Tenopir is the sports editor of The Columbus Telegram. Reach him via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.