Photo and Story by Juan Garcia | Staggering and dizzy, starting quarterback Tyler Mangold got back up from a sack and tried to finish the game. With only one quarter left, he finished the game as a leader, but later a doctor diagnosed him with a concussion that would end his football season early. The freshman A team was lost and did not know who to turn to. However, from beneath the smoke arose Byron Daniels, a quarterback with the experience that would lead the team to their first district win.
“With the loss of Tyler Mangold to a concussion in the Reagan game we thought that Byron could continue running our offense effectively,” freshman offensive coach Jacob Raley said. “Byron is athletic and has a good arm; he can play a multiple of positions on the field for us. He was quarterback in middle school so it was an easy switch.”
Daniels started against the Lee Volunteers and came out strong throwing one touchdown pass, and rushing for another. The defense did not get out-shined by the offense though because they also had key players that contributed to their first district win. Felipe Garcia had an interception, which led to a touchdown. Curtis Reese, Darius Ainsworth, and Eliezer Ortiz had key defensive plays that led them to victory.
“The cooperation between the offense and defense led us to victory,” defensive end Curtis Reese said. “Our defense was stopping the run and I’m glad we won.”
Before the injury, Daniels played running back and was unaware he was going to be quarterback. Mangold’s replacement was not very clear to the team, but after seeing Daniels practice, his teammates were positive he was a good replacement.
“I was truly sad for [Mangold],” running back Joshua Meno said. “But after seeing Byron throw the first pass, I knew he was the one.”
Daniels looks to take advantage of the opportunity and make the best of the 1-4 freshman district record. Daniels will start against the Brahmas and hopes that the team cooperates to bring their district record to 2-4.
“[As quarterback], I am showing the coaches that I am a good quarterback,” Daniels said. “I listen to my coach and do my job as a quarterback.”
The freshman A team is set to play at MacArthur this Thursday at 5:30.