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Welcome to the 2021 ATX QB Room! A new series where I, Robert Gonsoulin, preview quarterback talent from high schools in the Austin area. Be sure to follow week by week to be ready for what Austin has in store for this season of Texas high school football!
In our debut edition, I will be profiling Class of 2022 quarterback Jaylon Reeves from Pflugerville High School.
A very experienced team with a quarterback who is no stranger to the game. The Pflugerville Panthers are returning with all their biggest weapons in 2021, and Jaylon Reeves will be there to lead them under center for the third season in a row.
In 2020, the 6'1" quarterback threw for 689 yards and four touchdowns off of 57 completions, bringing Pflugerville to a 6-3 regular season record. Aside from the stats, he's looking to play ball at the collegiate level and is doing whatever he can to get in contact with coaches. "I've been reaching out…It's just been like a tough year for me, like all around….I went to a couple camps this summer though. Yeah, I'm reaching out," said Reeves in an interview I did with him. No one can deny that the effects that COVID-19 had on last year's football season placed some tough obstacles in front of players trying to be recruited. But it's been a far tougher path for Reeves. In mid-February of this year, both of Jaylon's parents died in the hospital of pneumonia after contracting COVID-19. His mother died on February 19, and then four days later, Jaylon and his older sister, Kyra, said goodbye to their father. There's no doubt that Reeves will want to play the season of his life thus far in 2021 not only to get noticed more by college coaches, but more importantly, to honor his late parents.
Despite finishing third in District 11 in UIL 5A Division 1 last season, Reeves and the Panthers fell short in the first round to New Braunfels Canyon by a close score of 20-17. However, the stats, recorded by many returning offensive starters, show that Pflugerville has what it takes to make a playoff run this season. Their two leading running backs, Elijah Oakman and Jake Illoka, are coming off of seasons where they both ran for 850+ yards. Not to mention that Reeves was the third best rusher with 379. Handling the ground game should be of least concern for the Panthers in 2021.
But being able to mobilize himself and scramble out of the pocket isn't the only thing Reeves characterizes his playstyle by. He considers himself to be a dual-threat quarterback and wants to improve on his throwing accuracy. "I would like to work on my accuracy more….that's what I've been working on."
One might think that their quarterback's accuracy doesn't need any more critiquing when he's thrown for 689 yards, 57 completions and four touchdowns, but Reeves wants everything to be better this season, as he looks towards a district title and deep playoff run. "I would like to play better all next season. [Last season] wasn't enough for us to win."
One of the key reasons why Jaylon wants people to root for him, though, is by the way he inspires others through his story and acts out as a leader. Being able to do this will be a major motivator for him in taking the Panthers to greater lengths in his senior season.
Catch the full in-depth interview below.
Jaylon Reeves and the Pflugerville Panthers will match up against Laredo United in Week One on August 28th at 7:00 PM at Southwest Legacy Stadium in Von Ormy, Texas.
Photo by VYPE Media's Thomas Bingham.
New Braunfels Canyon (10-1) finished the 2020 UIL high school football regular season with an identical UIL 12-5A Division I district record as Seguin and Dripping Springs and earned the opportunity to host UIL 11-5A Division I fourth-place finisher Pflugerville (5-4) in a UIL 5A Division I Region III bi-district playoff game at its on-campus Cougar Stadium on Thursday night. The Cougars took advantage of the opportunity, hung on for a 20-17 win and advanced to next week's UIL 5A Division I Region III area round playoff meeting with Friday's Baytown Lee/Katy Paetow winner.
New Braunfels Canyon leaned on its home field advantage and stifling defense to take the early lead and never relinquished it. The Cougars stormed down the field on their first offensive drive, so it looked like they would be up seven. A holding penalty would ultimately prevent them from recording an 18-yard touchdown run, but they bounced back with Cameron Welch's 39-yard field goal to go up three points at the 8:01 mark of the opening period.
That momentum continued in the second quarter. At 8:04, Micah Williford ran over half the field on a 55-yard touchdown run to extend the New Braunfels Canyon lead to 10-0. Then, a recovered fumble on the ensuing kickoff return set up a quick trip to the red zone, Welch's second successful kick of the night and a 13-0 score advantage with 4:53 left before halftime.
"On that play, we kept running it outside them," said Williford. "And once they went outside, I cut back underneath them and then went back outside and scored."
Micah Williford & Jack Loos talked New Braunfels Canyon’s 20-17 UIL 5A Division I Region III Bi-district playoff wi… https://t.co/IowTyUlrfk — VYPE San Antonio (@VYPE San Antonio)
The only thing that prevented a perfect first half was the late allowed field goal to Pflugerville's Jose Zapata that it made it a 13-3 game as time expired. Even with the slight diversion, New Braunfels Canyon refocused to take its largest lead in the early minutes of the third quarter. Jack Loos' 32-yard run to a score made it a 20-3 game with 8:12 left in the frame.
"It felt great to do something for the team," said Loos. "Step up. Make a play."
But, Pflugerville wasn't done and nearly completed the comeback. A touchdown by Jake Iloka made it a 10-point game with 3:07 left in the third quarter and another score by Cristian Valadez cut the deficit to 20-17 with 3:52 left in the contest. The Panthers also nearly recovered an onside kick before Loos grabbed the football to wrap up New Braunfels Canyon's victory.
"I just saw a bunch of helmets coming in," said Loos. "Ball on the ground and I jumped on it."
For more sports coverage, follow Thomas (@Texan8thGen Facebook/Instagram/Twitter) and VYPE (VYPE Texas Facebook, @VYPE_ATX and @VYPESATX Instagram and @VYPEATX and @VYPESATX Twitter) on social media.
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