WATSON – Live Oak hasn’t had a lot of time to allow quarterback Rhett Rosevear to adapt to the starting role, but after Saturday’s spring game against East Ascension there is reason to be optimistic.
Rosevear missed a large chunk of spring practice due to his participation with the school's baseball team that advanced to the second round of the state playoffs. He had been taking snaps for about a 1 ½ weeks before the spring game.
There were some struggles as well as bright spots with Live Oak’s offense registering 221 yards – 142 passing on 7-of-15 passing from Rosevear - in 20 plays that included two “live” quarters against East Ascension at Eagle Stadium.
Many of Rosevear’s successful throws came from plays out of the pocket where was able to use his athleticism.
“It’s a whole lot faster than in practice,” said Rosevear, a slot receiver a year ago. “I just have to step up into this role and lead this team. I’ve got to move the ball downfield no matter what. As the game went on, I definitely got more comfortable in the pocket, I started seeing things a lot better. My main focus was to keep plays alive by rolling down the pocket and keep my focus downfield.”
Fifth-year Live Oak coach Brett Beard said Rosevear’s performance was typical of a first-year quarterback with limited practice time.
“He made some good throws, he made some good choices, he made some bad choices,” he said. “Typical day for a first-time starter that just doesn’t have a series here and there. But I’m really pleased. There’s going to be some things that we do in the season where his legs are going to come into play, and it will add a dimension to our offense. “
East Ascension found success, gaining 440 totals yards with 124 of those rushing on 17 carries. The Spartans, which went 11-2 and reached the Class 5A state quarterfinals last season, also passed for 255 yards with quarterback Cameron Jones completing 14 of 20 passes.
“We’ve got to play cleaner football,” Beard said. “We go out there and try to press too much. We forget that the big picture is simply get the task, do the job, and fight to do it for six seconds. We tend to make the game a lot more difficult than it really is.”
East Ascension dominated the first series of the scrimmage with 131 yards, including a perfect 5-5 throwing from Jones, who connected on passes of 33 and 60 yards.
Live Oak’s offense struggled with 12 yards in 10 plays on its first series.
In the second 10-play possession, the Eagle defense responded and yielded 85 yards, 52 of which came after a pass that was deflected into receiver the hands of Jyrin Johnson.
LOHS’ offense followed in the defense’s footsteps and improved considerable in the second set, gaining 73 yards of which 46 came on a completion from Rosevear.
In the live portion of the scrimmage, East Ascension was forced to a three-and-out, but then intercepted the Eagles on their own third and distance.
“When I get pressure on me, I can’t rush and make bad choices,” Rosevear said. “I can only throw it if it’s our guys or nobody. Going up against a talented team like this shows us where we are and what we need to work on. We’re going to be playing teams like this in the playoffs, so we have got to get used to it. We definitely have room to improve but it wasn’t a bad foundation. We just have to keep getting better over the summer.”
LOHS reached the endzone for the first time in the second live quarter when Rosevear hit Amar Pink on a shallow crossing route to set up a 43-yard run.