Bennett back at the helm running the Bulldog offenseBy: Matt Long, Sports Editor
The quarterback is a key part to any football team’s offensive success, but when they can run like Folsom senior Kaiden Bennett, it makes the offense even more dynamic and tougher to defend.
Bennett not only was a prolific passer a year ago, throwing for 4,421 yards and 57 touchdowns, all the while completing 67 percent of his passes. He also led the Bulldogs in rushing with 1,218 yards and 16 touchdowns, averaging 6.5 yards every time he ran the ball. For good measure, Bennett also caught one pass for 16 yards.
Showing he’s human, Bennett did throw 13 interceptions, so that’s a number he’d like to lower this season.
“It’s been a really good offseason,” Bennett said. “The players on the team got better individually, and we’ve also improved as a team. I wanted to improve on using my legs more in my throws and I feel I’ve achieved that.”
Like all the players on the Folsom team, Bennett worked in the weight room to improve his strength. Bennett also became a better quarterback in the offseason by studying more.
“I studied film a lot in the offseason, learning about different defenses,” Bennett said. “I became more of a student of the game.”
Bennett also spent plenty of time throwing with his receivers. The four who started last season for the Bulldogs: Joe Ngata, Elijhah Badger, CJ Hutton and Parker Clayton -- who combined to catch 203 passes for 3,746 yards and 48 touchdowns -- are all back this season.
“We threw a lot together,” Bennett said. “I wanted to keep the chemistry that we had from last year. We should be even better offensively this year. No one should be able to stop us if we do the right things. Everybody is back. We’re experienced and detailed in what we’re doing.”
The only difference to Folsom’s offense this season will come on the offensive line, where the team graduated three linemen: guard Noah Lunday and tackles Matt Frost and Tucker Dunbar. That said, Bennett is confident the line will perform up to par again this season.
“I’m confident that my line can get the job done,” he said. “Coach Rich is the best coach around and I know he has them coached up. If they just do what they’re taught, they’ll be fine.”
With the offense confident and ready to go with eight returning starters from a state champion 16-0 team a year ago, the Bulldogs have high hopes for another this season. Don’t think for a second that the team is complacent about having already won a state title.
“I’m not worried about complacency,” Bennett said. “We’re confident because we practice so much. We should do well because of all the work we’ve put in. I think we can win another state championship. I think we can beat anyone if we play to our full capability and not take any plays off. If we play like we should, we can do it.”