Austin Reed got his first chance to play quarterback with and against first-teamers Wednesday night.
It didn’t take him long to get acclimated.
After a slow start, Reed finished with 178 yards passing in the first half of the Yellow Jackets’ spring football game as St. Augustine defeated Bishop Kenny 28-21 at Foots Brumley Stadium.
Reed completed 17 of 23 passes with a touchdown. After starting out 1 for 4 with an interception, he completed 12 passes in a row at one point before the varsity starters left the game at the half with a 21-14 lead.
“Everything’s a lot faster playing with the starters,” said the rising senior, who backed up fourth-year starter Cole Northrup last year. “Everything’s fast. Your reads got to be fast. The lines are faster.”
Reed completed passes to seven different receivers, including returning starter Karim Brown, who caught four passes for 70 yards, and Matt Adams, who caught a 4-yard TD pass with 1 minute left in the half to give the Jackets the lead for the first time.
Two more receivers caught passes from Michael Early in the second half.
“I love the way we threw it and caught it,” St. Augustine coach Brian Braddock said. “Almost every guy in the receiving corps caught a ball.”
Reed completed 12 passes in a row in the second quarter.
“Their corners were backing off the ball, so we knew we had to go to the quick stuff,” Reed said. “Hitches and speed outs were open all day.”
“(Reed) was on the money all night,” Bishop Kenny coach Bobby Raulerson said.
Reed’s interception was the result of Brown getting tripped and falling on a downfield pass. But the two connected on a pretty 38-yard fade pass to the 1-yard line, setting up St. Augustine’s second touchdown.
Brandon Johnson followed with a 1-yard touchdown run. Johnson also scored the Jackets’ first TD on a 32-yard jaunt.
“That was a nice long run,” Braddock said. “We blocked it up nice, and Brandon had a nice cut and took it to the end zone.”
In the second half, Early scored on a 68-yard touchdown run. Early also had two catches for 26 yards from Reed in the first half.
Despite a slow start in the first quarter when the Jackets did not get a first down on two possessions, Braddock was pleased with his squad’s performance, considering the Jackets were missing about 17 players and were starting four new offensive linemen.
“We stripped the ball twice, although we didn’t recover the fumbles, and we got two interceptions (by Brown and rising sophomore Jaden McDowell),” Braddock said. “We had four offensive linemen making their first starts against a senior-laden team, and you could see it in how they approached the game. We didn’t approach it with the same conviction, and we got hit in the mouth in the first quarter.”
Bishop Kenny QB Salem Farmand completed 12 of 15 passes for 190 yards, including a 50-yard touchdown to Aaron Fudge.