Mater Dei quarterback Colin Schuetz hardly hesitates when asked what he likes best about football.
“Second and short, that’s my favorite time. It gives me a lot of options and if I see what I want, I’ll take a shot down the field,” he said. “It’s fun for me because I get to show off what I train for all the time. I train to throw the football.”
Throwing a football is something at which the BND Athlete of the Week has become very proficient.
Six weeks into the season, Schuetz has managed the Knights’ spread offense to a 4-2 record, including three wins in a row. Even in its two losses, Mater Dei has averaged 40 points.
He was our water boy in the sixth and seventh grade so we knew he was coming through. He’s a Mater Dei kid, so it’s not like he’s a junior to me. He’s been in the program a while and knows the system as well as anybody we’ve had through here.
Mater Dei seventh-year head coach Jim Stiebel
For his part, the first-year starter has a quarterback rating of 112.62, having completed 92 of 169 pass attempts with 18 touchdowns against just five interceptions. His 1,599 yards ranks third in the entire St. Louis region and is second only to Althoff’s Jordan Augustine in the metro-east.
Built like a fullback, Schuetz also can be a punishing ball carrier. He averages 4.1 yards on a team-high 66 carries with seven running scores.
“The kid has been in the program. He was our water boy in the sixth and seventh grade so we knew he was coming through,” said Mater Dei seventh-year coach Jim Stiebel. “He’s a Mater Dei kid, so it’s not like he’s a junior to me. He’s been in the program a while and knows the system as well as anybody we’ve had through here.”
More than that, say teammates, Schuetz continues to improve week over week.
“The past two or three weeks you can see his improvement and if you look back from Week 1 to now, it’s just incredible,” said senior slot back Brendan Timmermann. “He’s putting up some numbers that are just amazing. Next year he’ll be a load.”
It was his performance in the Knights’ 47-28 win over perennial powerhouse Quincy-Notre Dame, in fact, that shows just how far Schuetz has come already.
He completed 21-of-32 passes for 438 yards and five touchdowns in a win he says can be a catalyst for the rest of the year. The Knights have games remaining against Johnston City, Macomb and Waterloo.
1,599 Schuetz’s total passing yards ranks third in the entire St. Louis region and second only to Althoff’s Jordan Augustine in the metro-east.
112.62 Schuetz’s season passer rating built on 92 completions on 169 attempts, 18 touchdowns and just 5 interceptions
“We knew Notre Dame was really good — they were 4-1 against some good teams — so we felt like we needed to get a win out of that game,” he said. “To be getting closer to playoff time and winning what felt like a playoff game, felt good. We practiced that way all week and executed in the game too. It was a really good effort by the team — it felt like things all came together.”
Schuetz is quick to point out a supporting cast of play makers that includes Timmermann, who had an Athlete of the Week-worthy 11 catches for 200 yards and three touchdowns against Quincy.
He also says the Knights offense is fueled by an efficient ground game that, besides himself, includes two ball carriers — Timmermann and Brady Rakers — who have rushed for more than 250 yards.
“Our running game is good, but can be sometimes muted by the way we play,” Schuetz said. “They get us five yards per carry, which is important because it sets up second-and-short and gives us the opportunity to go long.”
Everyone knows by now how much Schuetz likes second-and-short.
“For us to expand our offense and take some chances, our backs know we have got to get into second-and-short situations,” Stiebel said. “They are very passionate about getting into those situations so they can have some fun with the ball.”
Metro-East Top 10 Passers
1. Jordan Augustine, Althoff (113-of-159, 1,886 yards, 20 TD, 5 int.)
2. Collin Schuetz, Meter Dei (92-of-169, 1,599 yards, 18 TD, 5 int.)
3. Drew Millas, Belleville East (115-of-212, 1,383, 18 TD, 4 int.)
4. Adam Hill, Civic Memorial (86-of-147, 1,310 yards, 16 TD, 6 int.)
5. Wayne Grant, Cahokia (72-of-122, 1,060 yards, 10 TD, 6 int.)
6. Logan Betz, Belleville West (73-of-139, 1,003 yards, 5 TD, 6 int.)
7. Trey Aguirre, Marquette (79-of-146, 974 yards, 6 TD, 7 int.)
8. Drew Huebner, Columbia (56-of-97, 967 yards, 13 TD, 2 int.)
9. Joseph Wolf, Freeburg (70-of-117, 948 yards, 7 TD, 6 int.)
10. Aaron Laskowski, Waterloo (58-of-104, 802 yards, 11 TD, 9 int.)