O-Zone Opinion


O-Zone Kickoff Week: The Year of the Quarterback

We are just two weeks from kickoff high school football here in the Ozarks. Jordan Burton is breaking down players, teams, and making predictions. Today he gives his take on local quarterbacks.

Year of the Quarterback

It will be a special year in the Ozarks at the quarterback position. There are at least five guys getting major attention from D-1 programs. Being the signal caller isn’t easy, and all though they get it done in a variety of ways, these five guys do it better than most in the area.

Jaelon Acklin, Senior – MV/BT-Liberty: If you want to see a true dual-threat quarterback then Acklin is your man. He can beat you through the air (1,731, 21 TDs), on the ground (1,356, 22 TDs) or defensively (50 tackles, 3 picks). Also a noted return man (had a 96-yard return for TD), Acklin accounted for 3,510 all-purpose yards in leading the Eagles to the Class 2 quarterfinals before falling to eventual state champ Lamar. Acklin has picked up a handful of FCS and FBS offers.

Blayne Armstrong, Senior – Marshfield: Armstrong is your prototypical pocket-passer. He’s 6-foot-4 with a great arm, and under rated athleticism. In 2012 he aired it out for the Blue Jays, picking up 2,253 yards and 18 TDs. The four-year letterman returns his top two receivers and leading rusher from last year’s 3-7 squad. Look for Marshfield to be much improved with another season Nick Codutti.


Anthony Cooper, Senior – Kickapoo: Cooper has all the measurables you can want in a quarterback. At 6-foot-2 he has solid size, big-time arm strength and a 4.5 40 to boot. Although his junior campaign was a roller coaster ride at times (1,252 passing yards 9 TDs, 579 rushing yards 7 TDs) a great summer and another year to gain command of Joel Wells’ offense has Chiefs’ fans excited and college scouts inquiring. Improvement in his decision making will lead to a big year for Cooper.

Rafe Peavey, Senior – Bolivar: By now you’ve heard of the Liberators’ standout signal-caller. Over the summer he was often the topic of debate as he continues to garner attention at the national level and famed coaches such as Urban Meyer and Charlie Strong tried to flip the Arkansas commit. Why shouldn’t they, as a junior he amassed 1,872 yards through the air and another 514 on the ground to go along with 26 TDs. Had Bolivar not outscored its opponents 382-74 in their final nine games Peavey would have gotten a chance to add to his numbers.

Jacob Wade, Senior – Strafford: We don’t call him ‘The Real-Deal Wade’ for nothing. Wade was a man amongst boys in 2012. Through the air few did it better than Wade. His 2,094 yards and 24 TDs were impressive, but his 65% completion percentage was off the charts. At 6-foot-4 and 235 pounds, Wade is also a load running the ball (647 yards, 15 TDs). With his top three receivers back and a bitter taste from last year’s  50-36 district semifinal loss to Liberty, ending Strafford’s unbeaten season, expect the Indians to be hungry come August.

Also on my radar – Bo Dean, Camdenton; Gabe Kirk, Cassville; Easton Flaugh, Reeds Spring; Bobby Otwell, Mountain Grove; Da’Quan Ervin, Branson; Payton Rawlins, Seneca; Jacob Carlson, Nixa; Jacob Lasalle, Marionville; Levi Petersen & Tripp Tucker, Lamar; Dustin Satterlee, Carl Junction.

**Note: Names in bold designate a player that will be featured in a later position group.

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People : Anthony CooperBobby OtwellCharlie StrongDustin SatterleeGabe KirkJacob CarlsonJacob LasalleJacob WadeJoel WellsJordan BurtonLevi PetersenNick CoduttiPayton RawlinsQuan Ervin

08/12/2013 4:52PM
O-Zone Kickoff Week: The Year of the Quarterback
Please Enter Your Comments Below
08/13/2013 9:22AM
Don't overlook Lucas Combs from Willow Springs
08/13/2013 2:14PM
Again, you overlooked one.
08/13/2013 4:18PM
Top 5
I don't think they overlooked, they just listed the top 5 in the area. Maybe they should have done top 10 or something, but someone would always be left off the list at some level.
08/13/2013 4:20PM
Top 5
They could of at least listed him in the "Also on my radar" section.
08/13/2013 10:54PM
Just a mention..
Jordan Jack at Miller will take over at QB after a great one in Gulick. At 6'4" 220 lbs he will make his own mark in the area real soon with his accuracy and strength. Great collection of info by the ozone.
08/14/2013 9:46AM
There are a several QB's they failed to mention that should be on the radar. Not a complete depiction of who to
08/14/2013 8:43PM
The dual threat at Lamar is unrivaled. Just ask any team facing Levi Peterson and Tripp Tucker. Both are deserving of much, much more mention than they were given
08/15/2013 7:56PM
QB Anthony Gilliland
PARKVIEW, 6'6 210, 4.7 40, Anthony was rank top 20 in the southeast region for top 100 National under classman combines
08/24/2013 1:23PM
Peterson won a state championship and is on the cover of the preview.i would say he gets plenty of good press
08/31/2013 11:18AM
To all of SW MO's great athletes
Great job on the picks. Sorry to those who feel left out. There is no way to include everyone that needs mentioned. The fact is, SW MO has a lot of tremendous athletes. Whether they got mentioned are not, they and their teams know who they are. If you didn't get mentioned, have a great year and you're sure to be mentioned at the end of the season....which will get more publicity than those mentioned at the beginning of the season! :)
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