Jenner ready to direct Trojan offense

By: Matt Long, Sports Editor
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Matt Jenner grew up as a quarterback, playing the position all through his years of youth football.

His freshman year at Folsom High was the last year he played the position full time. The last two seasons at Oak Ridge, he backed up Marco Baldacchino. As a senior, Jenner is excited to be a starting quarterback once again.

“The offseason went well,” Jenner said. “We had a lot of practices, and the team has done well. I’m excited for the season to get going.”

Jenner has reason to be excited. Based on his performance in the postseason a year ago, he could put up some fantastic numbers this year. In about 11 quarters of playoff football, Jenner completed 51-of-85 passes for 834 yards and 14 touchdowns, all the while throwing no interceptions. More importantly, he led the team to a pair of playoff wins.

“It was about getting the opportunity,” Jenner said. “All the guys around me made it happen. In those games, I rarely got sacked, so the line did a great job. The receivers made great plays that helped make me look good. Its fun when you get to play with guys like that.”

With the graduation of Baldacchino, the quarterback job is now Jenner’s. He had a great offseason with his teammates, which included a trip to the Southern Oregon team camp at the end of June.

“We won the 7-on-7 camp for the fourth year in a row,” Jenner said. “We came together, figured things out, and bonded together as teammates. We became close during that camp and worked for each other and worked for the team.”

As Jenner prepares for his first full season as a varsity starting quarterback, he does so with some talented players around him. In the spread offense, Jenner usually has at least four receivers to throw to on every play, plus a running back to hand the ball to. Nathan Addleman is the starting running back this season, while Avant Jacobs and Sawyer Merrill are returning wide receivers. New receivers in the mix this season include Evan Robinson, Justin Lamson, EJ Delwiche, Gage King and Tyler Jeppesen.

“Our line returns a lot of guys,” Jenner said. “We have a few returning receivers, plus other guys who have stepped in. We should be able to build on last year and keep the ball rolling.”

At 6-4, 210 pounds, Jenner is a big, tall quarterback that can throw the ball to all parts of the field. With the spread offense, he will be given the chance to attack the entire field.

“I like that the spread offense has me in the shotgun all the time,” Jenner said. “A lot of teams expect us to pass, but with our line we’re capable of running the ball well. When we do throw it, we can spread out and use the entire field, which makes us tough to defend.”

As the Trojans’ first game at Lincoln on Aug. 17 draws closer, Jenner is ready to get things started.

“I just want to get things rolling,” Jenner said. “We’ve got a great offense with some returning players, as well as some guys who have stepped up. I think if we can run the ball well and take care of the football, we’ll put ourselves in good position to win games. We want to win our first game and then win a game every week after that and hopefully win a league championship for the first time in a long time by the end of the season.”