SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Moving on from a talent like quarterback Tyson Riley is no easy task.
Luckily for the Irish of the Springfield Catholic football team, Riley’s understudy was ready for his chance to take the reins.
“Just having Tyson as a mentor, pretty much, it helped me out a lot,” Catholic Junior Quarterback Will Squibb said. “Learning from him was great. I played football, basketball and track with him so having him around was just a good experience.”
Squibb showed those aren’t just words in week one, going 10/16 passing for 214 yards and two touchdowns.
He also ran for 44 yards and another pair of touchdowns.
“We felt like Will would do a great job for us this year,” Catholic Head Coach Steve Hancock said. “His skill set is similar to Tyson’s. He’s not quite as big and powerful, but he’s better at passing the ball than what Tyson was.”
Squibb’s performance was a big part of a Catholic’s rally from 20-points down to win at Seneca, 41-26.
“It had everything to do with the kids,” Hancock said. “We had good senior leadership. They had to make a choice. They either had to fold their tent and go home or else they’re going to have to bow their backs and get after it. They decided to bow their backs and we got a few breaks and luckily we came out on top.”
But Squibb isn’t working alone on offense.
His connection with longtime basketball teammate and sophomore wide receiver Liam O’Reilly was plain to see in week one.
O’Reilly only made three catches, but tallied 104 yards and a touchdown in the victory.
“It’s just great,” Squibb said about their connection. “It’s just natural almost.”
“He’s great,” O’Reilly said. “We trust each other a lot. I always trust that he’s going to put the ball wherever I need it. I just gotta run and go get the catch.”
And they will need that connection to be at its best Friday night with a tough Cassville side making the trip to Springfield.
“We knew right off the bat that we were going to find out where we’re at,” Hancock said. “We know we’re playing another really good conference team. Looking forward to it.”