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Important 5 players For Teams in the high school football season 2023.

Several area high school football teams return their starting quarterbacks from a year ago. Before the season kicks off on August 25, sports editor Matt Daniels looks at five players who could prove crucial to their team’s fortunes this fall.

Kellen Davis

The Centennial quarterback grabbed the Chargers’ starting job as a sophomore last season and hasn’t relinquished it.Brandon Harvey’s emergence in the backfield and his steady play along with a stout defense helped Centennial win its first seven games and eventually finish with a 7-3 record that included the program’s second straight Class 6A postseason appearance.

Davis completed 76 of 134 passes for 1,031 yards, seven touchdowns and just three interceptions. He also rushed for 344 yards and five touchdowns on 57 carries – good for an average of 6.0 yards per carry. Davis will get his first chance to show how much he’s improved from years 1 to 2 as Centennial’s starter when the Chargers open the season against Urbana at 7 p.m. Aug. 26 at Tommy Stewart Field.

Jordan Quinn

The dual-sport standout — Quinn was a News-Gazette first-team all-area choice in boys basketball this past winter, leading Tuscola to a third-place finish in the Class 1A state tournament — returns for his second season as the Warriors’ starting quarterback. Quinn flashed his potential as a junior last fall, completing 92 of 176 passes for 1,316 yards with 11 touchdowns and eight interceptions. He also contributed 700 rushing yards and nine touchdowns on 175 carries, helping Tuscola reach the Class 1A state quarterfinals and finish with a 9-3 record. Quinn and his teammates open the season against St. Bede at 7 p.m. August 25 in Peru.

Layne Rund

The Villa Grove senior will look to build on an impressive junior season that helped the Blue Devils reach the Class 1A playoffs for the eighth time in the past decade. And he will be key again this fall after throwing for 1,811 yards, 20 touchdowns and just six interceptions last season. Villa Grove opens its 2023 slate by hosting Sullivan/Okaw Valley at 7 p.m. August 25 in the field around Ras Ghere.

Logan Smith

A big reason why St. Joseph-Ogden won its first playoff game since last fall in 2015? This guy.
The senior quarterback threw for 2,582 yards, 28 touchdowns and just nine interceptions as a junior, earning first team all-area honors from The News-Gazette. Smith’s first chance to continue that strong performance is a home game against Monticello at 7 p.m. Aug. 25 at Dick Duvall Field.

Karson Stevenson

Bismarck-Henning/Rossville-Alvin has produced stud running backs seemingly every fall.
But Stevenson reshaped the narrative a bit in his senior season with the Blue Devils. Following the path Dawson Dodd had established before him, Stevenson threw for 1,778 yards, 26 touchdowns and just three interceptions last season, leading the Blue Devils to a 10-1 record and a record 13th playoff appearance. Stevenson begins his second season as the BHRA’s starter when the Blue Devils host Clifton Central at 7 p.m. Aug. 26 at Peyton-Moss Field.

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