Marmaton Valley High School football quarterback Brayden Lawson was named the Allen County Athlete of the Month for September.
The sophomore gunslinger has led the Wildcats to a 3-3 start to the season, throwing for 14 touchdowns and 1,133 yards and rushing for 10 touchdowns and 650 yards. He also leads his team with 108.3 rushing yards per game, 14 passing touchdowns and 10 rushing touchdowns.
Lawson currently owns a 98.9 quarterback rating and a completion percentage of 52.1%.
He has made quite the jump from his freshman season where Lawson started at tight end with very limited time taking snaps under center. The young student-athlete admits he’s surprised with the strides he’s made at quarterback.
“I thought I was going to be a lot better than last year but I didn’t think I would have the season I’ve had so far,” Lawson said. “I started at tight end last year, I played some quarterback but it was against really good teams. I feel like he (head coach Max Mickunas) trusts me a lot. I’ll be here for two more years so he can work with me even more.”
Come Friday night, Lawson’s love of football is evident. The quarterback usually enjoys running the ball, which is perfect for high school football. Passing tends to lead to turnovers and lower first down conversion rates.
The experience at tight end gave Lawson a different perspective on the field, both in catching the ball as well as blocking for his teammates. That experience has led Lawson to better understand his role on offense and how it functions.
“I love just being out there with my team, winning some games and playing hard,” said Lawson. “I think I like running the ball more, it’s just natural to me. At tight end, I was more of a blocker and receiver but a lot of times before I just ran the ball.”
Even sitting at a .500-record, Lawson believes his team is better than their record and has a chance to make some big plays to produce more wins for the Wildcats.
Some of the other playmakers on this year’s Marmaton Valley squad include receivers Jaedon Granere and Tyler Lord and tight end Kolby Knavel.
“We’ve got some really good players who can make some good plays and we’ve got some good coaches that get the ball in the right players’ hands. We as a team work really well together,” Lawson said. “I have some good receivers who work really well together,” Lawson said. “I have some good receivers that will get open and I’ve just got to get them the ball and go.”
Having good players around Lawson certainly takes some of the pressure off the sophomore quarterback. This summer was a turning turning point for Lawson who worked harder than ever on the football field, in the weight room and taking snaps with his teammates to try and simulate game speed.
Those reps are paying dividends with two games left in the season against Lebo and St. Paul. This year’s Wildcat team is looking to have one of their best finishes in recent school history. Last year the team finished 4-5 and the year before Marmaton Valley went 1-7.
“We’ve played some pretty tough teams and gotten a lot better,” said Lawson. “I feel like I’ve gotten a lot better than last year. I’m a lot more calm and able to make more plays.”
Lawson said that state of mind comes in handy every time he drops back and sees the defensive linemen come barrelling toward him.
“Being calm plays a huge role because having three guys running at you when you’re trying to throw a football can be tough. You’ve just got to be calm in order to find someone that’s open.
“My goal is to get the ball to my teammates who can really do a lot with it,” Lawson said.
Marmaton Valley will host Lebo this Friday at 7 p.m.