HOLMEN — It was just the second game of the 2018 season and Holmen High School quarterback Cameron Weber was taking the ball down the sidelines, something he had already done numerous times during his lifetime.
But something different happened this time, and that run was interrupted.
The junior was hit low and his leg got caught underneath the Menomonie defender. He immediately felt something was wrong. When Weber reached back, he felt what he described as a ball around his hip. That ball was a dislocated hip, and Weber immediately feared the worst.
“When you hear it’s a dislocated hip, the first thing you think of is Bo Jackson,” Weber said. “He couldn’t play again. I was thinking ‘I don’t want to be done this early.’”
Fortunately for Weber, there were no tears or additional damage around the area. It was not career threatening, but his season was over. It also required a grueling three to four month recovery process just to get back to normal.
“Going into a football season you are just looking forward to everything and then even before conference starts to get knocked out just sucks,” Weber said. “It was tough to have to stand on the sideline and watch.”
That’s what made Friday night so special, even though Weber has been a consistent threat as a runner in Holmen’s triple option all season. Playing in front of a packed homecoming crowd at Empire Stadium, Weber tossed three touchdown passes and ran for another score to help the Vikings run drop Logan 41-0.
It was just the second time since 2009 that the triple-option Vikings had three passing touchdowns in a game. But Weber looked like he had done it numerous times before. His first touchdown was a beautiful lofted pass into the end zone that Justin Jones grabbed for a 27-yard score.
Weber showed his quick release on his other two touchdowns when he found Isaac Elsen on quick hitters. He had another long pass where he dropped the ball right in the bucket, but it was dropped.
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“It’s a lot of fun to be able to pass, because, obviously, I don’t get to do it that much,” Weber said with a laugh.
There isn’t much change in Weber’s game. He’s a confident runner, and he showed the same confidence as a passer on Friday. But anytime he’s close to the sideline, he can hear his coaching staff yelling in unison at him.
“Everytime I go down the sideline I can hear them yell, ‘Get out ofbounds,’” Weber said with a chuckle. “That’s all I hear.”
Weber almost wasn’t the Holmen starting quarterback this season. He was in a preseason competition with Ryland Wall and Austin Dechant. They both started last year, too; Dechant when Weber was injured and Wall for the remainder of the season when Dechant went down in the fourth game.
There was talk of moving Weber to running back or having him play the swiss-army knife position on defense that Wall currently plays. But the truth is that Weber was born to play quarterback. His leadership skills and emotional maturity are at a level normally seen at a higher level.
“Our quarterback has to be the general on the field, he has to be an extension of me on the field,” Holmen coach Travis Kowalski said. “He checks a lot of plays. He’s the captain. He’s been a two-year captain for us. He’s just a good kid, and he understands the game.
“The kids trust him, they believe in him, so when adjusts things they just go with it. When you have that in a triple option, it allows you to get after teams.”
The victory over Logan puts the Vikings (6-1, 4-0) in a position where they control their own destiny in the attempt to win the MVC title. They host Sparta (6-1, 4-1) before finishing at Onalaska (6-1, 4-0). Last year, Kowalski admitted they took Sparta too lightly and the Spartans won 28-6 in a lopsided affair. This year, the Vikings have adopted the motto, ‘redemption week’ and vow to not have a repeat performance.
“Sparta is a great team and, obviously, last year left a bad taste in our mouth,” Weber said. “We want to come in here and play well. We know they are a good team, but we are looking forward to it.”