MESQUITE, Texas – Mesquite Poteet quarterback Tanner Ramsey stepped into a precarious position following predecessor Beau Nowell.
However, Ramsey has been key in proving Poteet has reached a new level of legitimacy after the Pirates dismantled Terrell, 55-0, on Thursday in their District 15-4A opener.
“I learned everything from Beau,” Ramsey said. “Watching him play made me want to play harder and makes me want to play for the team like he did.”
Ramsey threw for two touchdowns and over 200 yards in the win, which he said now makes him excited to see what his team can do throughout the rest of the season.
His highlight of the game was a sharp 28-yard touchdown pass to Chase Graham on a post route in the second quarter, extending Poteet's lead to 35-0.
There’s no questioning his status among the area's top quarterbacks, but Ramsey was quick to share the credit with the rest of his team.
“I’m just playing quarterback,” Ramsey said. “I’m just getting the ball to my receivers and they’re making plays for me.”
There is some truth to Ramsey’s statement, as Poteet (3-0, 1-0) boasts dangerous weapons around the first-year starter.
Running back Steven Hicks led the charge on the ground, scoring a touchdown and passing the century mark in yards. Hicks was tough to bring down, repeatedly requiring three to four defenders to drag the elusive back to the turf.
Another prime target for Ramsey is two-way standout Graham, who led Poteet in interceptions last season. Graham is getting a chance to showcase his hands this season as a wide receiver.
Graham said he believes this year’s squad is playing with a confidence that last year’s team did not have this early in the season.
“Last year’s team, most of the seniors were pissed off about all the years before that,” Graham said. “This year, we all became like a band of brothers because that’s what Beau Nowell and all them laid out for us.”
Poteet coach Randy Jackson has set his team up for success, putting together an offensive game plan that is based mainly on screen passes and short slants to supplement Hicks’ runs. Poteet had no trouble moving down the field on Terrell (2-1, 0-1), as they were only forced to punt once.
“I’ve been really impressed with him,” Jackson said. “We’ve got kids like Hicks that can take a little bit of weight off his shoulders but Tanner Ramsey has answered the bell.”
In the end, it starts at the top and the Pirates are well on the way to proving that their legitimacy is tied to the arrival of Jackson.
“We know the system,” Ramsey said. “We had two years to bond together and we’ve got it down now.”