WILMINGTON – With the losses mounting for the Wilmington College football team, they may be turning to a new voice in the offensive huddle. (Game Notes)
For the first time in 23 games, the Fightin' Quakers could have a different voice calling the plays when the game starts. The WC coaching staff will make the decision on game day whether junior Brandon Arehart or Brandon Minor will be the starting quarterback.
"We are always evaluating the situation," said head coach Ken Minor. "Arehart has done a nice job for us the last two years. Even Peyton Manning threw three interceptions in one quarter (on Monday)."
Minor saw his first extending action of his career in Saturday's loss to Otterbein, replacing Arehart late in the third quarter. He finished the game 10-of-17 for 112 yards, one interception and one rushing touchdown.
Whoever comes out of the competition will be facing a stout Heidelberg defense that has yielded just seven points in two games. The Student Princes defense is a deep unit, highlighted by the fact that the league leader in forced fumbles, sophomore Mike Bodyke, isn't a starter. The defensive end is also third in the OAC in tackles for loss.
In sticking with the theme of applying pressure, seniors Ben Poirier and Andy Lovins are first and second, respectively, in sacks.
"They are solid in every facet," said Minor. "They pretty much got better with the same personnel from last year. They don't really have stars, but they have solid team players. I can't find a weakness."
With the injury to senior offensive lineman Andrew Fisher, the Wilmington offensive line – that features four sophomores and a freshman – will be put to the test trying to contain the aforementioned trio.
Offensively, the emergence of sophomore quarterback Michael Mees has given Heidelberg the balance they were hunting for all of 2011. With Mees more than capable of carrying the offense, it has made running back Cartel Brooks more dangerous. After splitting carries a season ago, Brooks has taken full advantage of his status as the feature back. He is leading the OAC, averaging 169.5 yard per game and four touchdowns.
"Cartel is one of the best running backs I've seen," said Minor, "and is even better because they are throwing the ball better."
The Wilmington defense is a lot better than the numbers show. Of the 14 touchdowns surrendered this season, four have been by the offense and four have come on drives longer than 35 yards.