There is nothing like a quarterback connecting with his wide receiver.
Joe Montana to Jerry Rice. Dan Marino to Mark Duper. Tom Brady to Julian Edelman. Deshaun Watson to DeAndre Hopkins. Dak Prescott to Amari Cooper.
At Katy Faith West Academy, which fields a six-man football program, the tandem of seniors Marshall Wales and Dan Owen powers the Eagles offense. Quarterback Wales and receiver Owen have played together at FWA since they were freshmen, possessing a strong chemistry that translates into touchdowns and earning much-deserved praise from first-year head coach Nathan Utt.
“To have Marshall and Dan is just huge for us,” Utt told Texas Scorecard.
Utt described Owen as “a super-athletic guy” who is the Eagles’ top utility player. Owen makes his mark not just on offense but defense as well.
“We can put him anywhere on the field and he can perform for us,” Utt said.
FWA’s 86-40 loss to Huntsville Alpha Omega Academy on Sept. 6 was Owen’s first taste of action since suffering a season-ending knee injury in 2018. He bounced back tremendously as he led the Eagles defense in tackles and resumed his role as Wales’ favorite target to the tune of three touchdown hauls.
“The second he stepped on the field the other night made a huge difference for us offensively and defensively,” Utt said.
The coach also marveled at Owen’s ability to out-jump and out-leap defenders.
Wales, an Odessa College baseball commit, is just as fast as his go-to receiver.
“He’s usually one of the fastest guys on the field no matter who we’re playing against,” Utt said. “He and Dan – as far as speed goes – are both neck and neck so it’s nice to have two guys that are both fast.”
The dual-threat quarterback has held the starting position since he was a sophomore.
“He’s got the power to throw the ball downfield, but he’s able to tuck it and run when he sees green grass,” Utt said. “He’s fit into that role well the last few years.”
Wales and Owen, who are good friends off from the field, were responsible for all of the Eagles’ touchdowns against the Lions. Among them was a 40-yard touchdown run by the signal-caller.
Leaders on the field and off
It is because of their friendship that the pair click so well every Friday night in the fall.
“They both know each other well,” Utt said. “They’ve got good chemistry. Both guys know our offense inside and out.”
According to the coach, Wales and Owen “are looked up to [on and off the field] as leaders.”
“They’re the right kind of guys you want on your team,” Utt said. “Kids that are just really good role models to have, not just for the younger football players but the younger students at the school.”
What’s in a game?
Six-man football is a form of American football played by six players per side on an 80-yard-long by 40-yard-wide field. The pace is faster than traditional 11-man football.
“There’s a few rule changes, just logistically,” Utt said. “For first downs, you have to go 15 yards instead of 10. You can’t run the ball without there being an ‘exchange mate’ … there has to be a handoff in some way. What we do is we run a spread offense. You pretty much have to in six-man.”
Scoring is the same except that a team earns four points when a field goal is successfully attempted, two for a point-after kick, and just one when a two-point conversion-like play is made.
According to Utt, the game is like backyard football. Everyone on offense is an eligible receiver, including the center, he said.