South Charlotte

Injuries force quarterback shuffle

With Myers Park leading 15-0 in its season opener against Garinger, senior quarterback Ross Jeffries fumbled a snap. When he dove into the pile to get the ball, he broke his right thumb.

For the second straight year, a Mustangs' starting quarterback would miss time with an injury.

Jeffries got the starting job last year when Blaine Anderson was hurt midway through the season. This year, Jeffries started and Anderson, also a senior, was the backup and starting safety. When Jeffries went down, coach Greg Taylor had to make a choice: play Anderson or sophomore Alex O'Brien.

"The plan with Ross as a starter was for Blaine to be the backup, but Blaine has become so valuable to our defense we didn't think that was the way to go," said Taylor. "We thought we'd try the sophomore."

O'Brien was 3-5 for 38 yards passing and a touchdown in the Garinger game, which the Mustangs won 29-16. In the second game at home against Hough, he completed 11 of 14 passes for 181 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions. He also rushed for 30 yards and a touchdown. Myers Park won 55-28.

But O'Brien struggled in the third game, a 10-9 loss at Olympic.

O'Brien was 5-19 for 58 yards and an interception. He had Myers Park's lone touchdown on a quarterback sneak.

Taylor said he hopes Jeffries will be able to play in one or two weeks. Until then, he hopes his young quarterback will continue to improve.

"I told our coaching staff he's going to play like a sophomore some Friday, he ain't going to do that every week. I wish I'd kept my mouth shut," said Taylor.