Anderson making most of opportunity

Tuesday, September 5, 2017
Jedd Anderson looks for some room to run during the Cubs’ varsity match against Mt. Vernon on Friday. Jacob Brower/jbrower@monett-times.com

Monett senior emerges as receiving threat

The conversation between Monett Coach Derrek Uhl and Cubs football team (2-1) Friday was mostly upbeat.

Uhl explained to his players they had no reason to hang their heads and they improved in several areas. He told them he saw players get better, and that excited him.

Darian McCracken leaps high into the air to knock down a pass during varsity action on Friday. Jacob Brower/jbrower@monett-times.com

Undoubtedly, one of those improved players was senior Jedd Anderson.

As a junior, Anderson made his mark as a defender. It was his interception that sealed the fate of Maryville in the state championship game.

This year, Anderson, out of necessity, has become one of the biggest targets for Monett quarterbacks.

Coming into the Mt. Vernon game the senior had caught three passes for 63 yards, setting a career-high in both receptions and yardage against the Mountaineers with six receptions and 133 yards.

“With this team, it was Jedd’s night tonight,” Uhl said. “He is one of our better route runners and he made the plays tonight.”

Monett’s receiver is like a poor-man’s Wes Welker, the former Super Bowl winning receiver for New England. He is not the fastest, but ran great routes and used his cutting ability to get open.

“I for sure am not the fast guy on the field,” Anderson said. “You saw that tonight when I was ran down from behind.”

The senior was tackled twice inside the 2-yard line after hauling in long passes. Anderson said he dedicated himself in the off season to getting better as a receiver.

“Last year, I was behind a great receiver in Mason [Swearingen],” Anderson said. “I tried to learn everything I could from him and those other guys. Some night, we need me to make a play, and others, I need to be able to help our other players. That’s my role.”

Mt. Vernon took the initial lead with a 39-yard Sammy Robinson run with 2:02 left in the first.

Monett countered off a Mt. Vernon missed punt snap at the 17 and needed four plays for Brink to score and give the Purple and Gold a 7-6 edge with 10:06 in the second quarter.

Anderson had a catch to give his team a first and goal on the drive.

The Mountaineers retook the lead at the 8:28 mark when quarterback Ty Boswell hit Andrew Montemayor for an 86-yard catch and run. The 2-point conversion failed leaving the score, 12-7.

Brink then engineered a 64-yard, six play drive, highlighted by an Anderson 44-yard reception and capped by a Patrick Valentine 4-yard run to send the Purple and Gold to the locker room up 14-12.

The Cubs were hampered in the second half with drives that began at the 3 and 4, 20-yard lines and two Brink interceptions.

“There were a lot of kooky things and we had to capitalize,” Uhl said. “I really thought in the first half, I felt good going into halftime. Our kids, we’ve had momentum, we believed, and at this age, they just gotta believe. There was a lot of kind of sloppy play, but when two teams are both trying to get after each other, stuff like that’s going to happen.”

“As bad as it maybe seemed, we still had a chance to win,” Uhl said. “Field position killed us. It always seemed like we were always starting near the scoreboard. That’s not a good thing. Sometimes it was penalties. Sometimes we just mucked the kickoff, so that doesn’t help an offense that just not moving the football.”

Monett travels to Lamar on Friday to face the No. 1 team in Class 2. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.

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