Sophomore quarterback Beau Foster will start at quarterback in Friday night’s Week 2 home-opener for the Dodge City Red Demons football team, head coach Dave Foster announced Wednesday.
Beau Foster threw for 112 yards and one touchdown with no interceptions on 9/13 passing in the team’s Week 1 loss to Wichita West.
He will start in place of Dawson Williams, who last season earned Second Team All-WAC honors at quarterback but who completed 3/7 passing including one interception which was returned for a touchdown last Friday.
Coach Foster said Williams will instead start at wide receiver and free safety.
“Obviously it doesn’t come down to just what that player brings in one phase or the other phase,” Foster said. “It comes down to now what does that afford us the opportunity to do with a kid of Dawson Williams’ level of skill. I mean we’re putting him immediately in at the X-receiver. With (a) receiver with his frame, 6’3, 6’4, his speed, his strength, he creates immediate mismatches. I think we’re going to see that on Friday night.”
Williams’ overall athleticism is something the team is going to take advantage of in his new position. Not only is he big and strong, Williams is well-conditioned. Coach Foster said Beau Foster, Dawson Williams and junior lineman Marcos Fisher were the three highest scorers in the team’s preseason conditioning tests.
Foster said he knew as early as Tuesday that the change would help because of Williams’ pure athleticism.
“It took me about 10 minutes of watching him do things to realize this is going to be awesome,” Foster said.
In fact Williams will actually play more now that he’s moved out of the quarterback position. Williams made an impact on defense last week as well. He recorded six tackles, four assists and even had one tackle for a loss.
“I told Dawson, I said ‘You’re going to play more reps on Friday night than you’ve ever played on a Friday night,” Foster said. “That’s just how it is.”
Wednesday, Williams was seen returning kicks during early portions of practice.
“Everybody knows he’s tough to tackle, he’s fast, deceivingly fast and those are explosive things,” Foster said.
Part of the reason the team hadn’t used Williams in more of those roles was because the football teams tend to protect their quarterbacks as well as possible. Foster said that was part of the case for why Williams did not play positions like safety earlier.
“When that kid’s at quarterback, even like a year ago, we wanted to limit his hits,” coach Foster said. “I mean we knew his skill level, but you just get concerned about getting him in too much. Now we’re in a situation where it fits everything he brings to the table and we’re going to take advantage of that.”
Beau Foster’s 119 passing yards were the only passing yards for either team in last Friday’s game. The Red Demons were out-rushed 365-97 on the ground.
“We know what our weakness is at this point,” coach Foster said. “We’ve made some changes up front on the offensive line. We still haven’t settled on that group.”
Foster said he expected to the team to have that decided by the end of practice Wednesday.
“We just were unable to open those holes up that we were able to a year ago,” Foster said. “We knew that was a question mark, but I can assure you we erred on the side of caution and didn’t make this move earlier because you don’t know until you actually compete against another football team.”
The change at quarterback though has the team excited, Foster said.
“This is a thought-process that has gained us new focus on a new direction, especially offensively because it’s just a different dynamic,” Foster said. “It’s almost like we’re coaching a new football team, and it’s very exciting to go into this Week 2 matchup to see where we’re at.”
The Dodge City Red Demons take on Wichita Southeast Buffaloes at 7 p.m. Friday night in Dodge City's Memorial Stadium.