November 17, 2009 11:22:00 AM
Adam Minichino - firstname.lastname@example.org
ABERDEEN -- One, two, three -- Release.
It sounds simple, and it doesn''t always go according to plan, but Aaron Andrews is all about being on time.
When you''re the quarterback of a high-scoring offense like the Aberdeen High School football team, you have to be precise with your movements and read and deliver the football at the right times.
Andrews was in step with his teammates Friday night, throwing for 345 yards and four touchdowns in a 42-16 victory against Ripley in the second round of the Mississippi High School Activities Association Class 3A North Half State playoffs.
For his efforts, Andrews is The Commercial Dispatch Prep Player of the Week.
The senior quarterback was 10 of 17 with no interceptions in the victory. He connected with Mario Lucas on a 64-yard touchdown pass and with Jalen Devauld on a 43-yard touchdown in the first quarter, with Rashad Pargo on a 32-yard scoring pass in the second quarter, and with Pargo on a 66-yard touchdown pass in the third quarter.
"I went over my reads and did what the coaches told me to look at," Andrews said. "I feel things came easy after we found out what we had to do."
Andrews said the key was getting the ball out of his hand on time. He said he takes the majority of snaps out of the shotgun and then has a three-step drop. He said his goal is to set his timing and release on his third step.
Preparation is the key. Andrews said he reads the defense at the line of scrimmage to recognize what will be open and where he will go with the football.
"I have to make sure I know where everyone is at all times and keep my head up," Andrews said. "I just have to make sure I have everything set toward the way I am throwing."
Aberdeen High coach Chris Duncan said everything came together for Andrews and the Bulldogs (11-2) against Ripley.
"Aaron got the ball out of his hands well and hit the open receiver," Duncan said. "He played well mentally and physically, and didn''t make many mistakes. He did the little things right that he is supposed to."
Duncan said Andrews and the Bulldogs haven''t prepared themselves mentally to play football. He said everyone has matured throughout the season to push the Bulldogs one step closer to a shot to play for a North Half state title.
Last year, Aberdeen couldn''t beat Louisville for that title. This year, the Bulldogs will have to get past Charleston (13-0) at 7 p.m. Friday in Aberdeen. Charleston is one of three undefeated teams (Tylertown and Booneville) remaining in Class 3A.
Duncan feels the momentum from the Ripley game can carry over to this week.
"We have backed him all year," Duncan said. "He has been through some things, but to have a game like that at quarterback is almost like having a shutout as a pitcher. His confidence level will be up and he is trusting his reads more. He should get better than he was last week."
Andrews will spend this week honing his technique to make sure he can be one time against Charleston. He said the repetition in practice has helped him feel more comfortable after he suffered an injury in a season-opening loss at Columbus.
"I just sit back and accept coaching," Andrews said. "I just try to be a leader to everybody."
Adam Minichino is the Sports Editor for The Commercial Dispatch.