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Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
CEDAR RAPIDS — He’s got a last name that would suggest he might play on the defensive side of the football.
But Carson Blietz is a quarterback and has been a good one for Cedar Rapids Kennedy.
The senior has stepped into the role at a new school and helped the Cougars to an undefeated start and No. 2 ranking in Class 5A going into Thursday night’s homecoming game against Dubuque Senior at Kingston Stadium.
“I think I’ve done pretty well,” he said. “I mean, there is always room for improvement, to get better. That’s what we need to do throughout the season to be a playoff team like I think we are.”
After recent seasons of being a heavily ground-oriented team offensively, Blietz has helped Kennedy move the ball through the air. In three games, he has completed 28 of 51 passes for 463 yards.
He has thrown eight touchdown passes and been intercepted just once. Kennedy went into Thursday with a 4-0 record, including a forfeit win last week over Cedar Rapids Jefferson.
That’s the school Blietz was at last season.
“One thing that I’ve noticed is he’s a really good leader,” said Kennedy Coach Brian White. “What I mean by that is he walks into the huddle, and he can command the huddle. It’s not like ‘Hey, I’m a dictator in this huddle.’ He has command of the huddle just by his presence. That’s the way he carries himself. Every week that goes by, he gets more and more confident with his abilities. Again, not in an arrogant way at all. I just think he’s starting to come into his own as a high school quarterback.”
“I think I’m better than last year,” Blietz said. “I think it’s just being able to read the defenses and the coverages quicker. That year of experience just helps out and makes you better. And I’ve got great teammates around me. Everyone helps out and contributes, as they should. The whole offense runs smoothly.”
White said he watched some film of him last season but didn’t remember much about Blietz since Kennedy and Jefferson did not play last season. The coach said his QB wasn’t guaranteed the starting spot, earning it with his play over the summer at team workouts and in 7-on-7 scrimmages against other schools.
Blietz completed 44 percent of his passes for 639 yards and two TDs last season for Jefferson.
“He does a nice job of stepping up in the pocket when it starts to cave in,” White said. “He is always looking downfield. There are times where, because of what we’ve had in the past, it’s like ‘Run!’ Then he throws one down the field to a kid that’s open, and you’re like ‘Oh, never mind. Go ahead.’ It’s a different dimension that we haven’t seen in a little while.
“It’s like I said when I got the job here, we are going to play to our players’ skills and not try to make our players play to a certain style of football. The kid can throw, so we’re going to let him throw the ball.”
Blietz said he has been receiving some correspondence from colleges, and he wants to play college football somewhere. Neither he nor White are sure what level of college football he’ll wind up playing.
But he’ll be a quarterback for someone.
“Of course I see them, but it’s not a big point for me to look at them a lot and play based off that,” Blietz said, when asked if he looks at his individual statistics. “I just play my game, and if good stats happen, then they do. If they don’t, then they don’t.
“Personally, I think I bring to the team someone who makes good reads and gets the ball to the guys who need to have it. We have great athletes all around, so it’s just get the ball out and let them make it happen.”
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