Coming into 2019, there were questions about how the Foothill Cougars could fare without do-everything quarterback Jayden Gordon.
After his Week 1 performance against Eureka, Cougars’ quarterback Brandon Merryman let everyone in Palo Cedro know “I got it.”
After playing receiver last year, Merryman returned to his natural position and showed the Loggers that not only does he have a cannon of an arm, but he will beat you with his feet as well.
And while the defense was lights out in helping preserve Red Thunder’s 14-10 victory at Bill Johnson Community Stadium, the senior signal-caller did a little of everything on offense to get Foothill in the win column.
Merryman opened and closed the scoring for the Cougars with TD runs in the first and third quarters. In between, he guided an offense that showed flashes of dominance mixed with bits of letdown, but the senior never waivered in his leadership on the field.
Merryman was 8-of-13 passing for 70 yards and an interception. He also had a gorgeous, 77-yard TD pass to Tyler Carey called back because of a hold. On that pass, Merryman looked off the safety to the far side, got him to bite and then hit Carey in stride 40 yards downfield as the DB was chasing the fleet receiver.
And when not doing it in the air, Merryman got the ball to pay dirt via the run game. He took the second play from scrimmage 70-plus yards, weaving his way through the second and third levels before turning on the jets to find the south end zone. However, it was his calm in the third period, trailing 10-7, that shined through. After getting a short field off an interception from a botched punt, Merryman called his own number from the 17 and raced in untouched for the go-ahead score.
“All night they would blitz the outside backer with the D end and I would run my fakes and I could get in between them,” said Merryman, who finished with 108 yards rushing and two scores on eight carries. “I took it and it was daylight. I saw two guys, cut it back to the left and got a block from my wide receiver.”
Merryman and the Cougars now travel to Nevada to face the Carson Senators.
Shasta County Sports Player of the Week
Week Zero: Riley Seay, U-Prep
Week 1: Brandon Merryman, Foothill
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