Starkville Academy quarterback depth showing up

Starkville Academy quarterback Noah Methvin
Staff Writer

An injury to the quarterback position would be a devastating blow to some football teams.

That’s not the case for the Starkville Academy Volunteers.

The Vols knew they were at a good place with the position even with the knee injury for senior Ben Owens.

All Starkville Academy coach Chase Nicholson had to do was pull Noah Methvin, who had plenty of experience as a signal caller, off of the defense and turn him loose.

After knocking off some of the rust of not being behind the center on every down, Methvin became comfortable once again.

The fact that Methvin was the starter last season and he continued to get reps at the position in splitting time with Owens helped.

In last Friday’s 36-0 victory by the Vols over Winston Academy, Methvin completed 11-of-18 pass attempts for 99 yards and two touchdowns. He rushed 11 times for 34 yards and two more scores.

“Noah had to get back to that quarterback mentality, not just this drive or that drive, but it was his to carry the whole night,” Nicholson said. “He had a great practice (Monday) and great practice last week and bouncing back from the first half not being great, then played the second half like Meth is supposed to and did a great job of quarterbacking the game.

“We knew (Ben) was going to be out, but it wasn’t like it was a big deal for Meth. He just had to switch mentality from defense to offense. It took him a while in the game to remember that because you go in spurts of running the football and I didn’t have him thinking as much. I asked him to think a lot more.”

Methvin is a valuable member of the SA defense. He has 23 tackles with three tackles for a loss, two sacks and one forced fumble.

Even though Methvin is fond of defense, he was ready to make the full transition to quarterback again for the offense when Owens got hurt and was unable to play.

“I must do what the team wants me to do,” Methvin said.

Methvin and Owens have a good relationship and were in constant communication on the sideline during the game.

Owens was one of the biggest cheerleaders for Methvin and the rest of the Vols. It was appreciated by Methvin.

“I’ll come over there and he’ll give me a few pointers about something,” Methvin said. “It was kind of like I did at first (when Owens got to Starkville Academy). We bounced ideas off each other. It’s nice he’s out there and we are still supporting each other. I was telling him that I’ll be glad when he gets back.”

It may be still a couple of weeks before Owens is able to get back onto the field for competition.

Until then, Nicholson liked seeing the two players help each other.

“Ben was great on the sideline in trying to get Meth calmed down and be a quarterback,” Nicholson said. “Everything is good. Ben played his role great and we’re looking forward to having him back.

“He’ll be out again this week, but we look to have him back next week. That’s why we encouraged him to go ahead and have the surgery when it was on the table. We know we are planning to play a lot more and we’ve got three big ones coming up. It works out good."

With Owens being out, it has also given some valuable reps in practice to No. 3 signal caller Garrett Lewis.

Nicholson knows that’s something Lewis needed as he is now the No. 2 quarterback behind Methvin while Owens can't play.

“He’s been able to get more involved in some stuff,” Nicholson said. “It gave me some extra time with him to make him better. He had a great week.

“People are stepping up to the challenges ahead in trying to fill positions and fill needs. That’s what you want out of a team.”