LAUREL — Laurel head coach Mike Ludwig has been spoiled at the quarterback position.
Eli Aby manned the spot for two years before turning it over to Kyson Moran last season. Now it’s Tanner Schwend’s turn, and he brings quite the dynamic to the Locomotive offense.
“He’s a good athlete, first of all. He’s probably our fastest guy on our football team," Ludwig said of Schwend. "Any time you’ve got a guy that can buy himself extra time whether he’s trying to throw the ball, or we’re having him run the ball in one of our offensive plays, that just makes you a dangerous quarterback.”
Schwend may be a bit more explosive with the ball in his hands, but don’t let that distract you from his ability to sling it around. He’s learned from his predecessors and is getting better each rep.
“I just kind of watched them as much as I could, made as many reads off of them as I could. Corner stuff, if they’re sitting or not, they kind of taught me a lot of that," Schwend said. "They were a really good example for me all throughout high school.”
Schwend and the Laurel offense faltered against Lewistown earlier this year, scoring just three points. Ahead of Friday night’s matchup with rival Billings Central, the Locos know they’ve got to clean some things up.
“We’ve got to execute, for sure, make sure we’re blocking right. I’ve got to make the right reads and make sure I’m throwing the ball on a line," said Schwend.
“We have to play four quarters of football, and we can’t turn the ball over. We had three turnovers. You can’t turn the ball over against good football teams," Ludwig said. "Those are two of the biggest lessons I want our players to learn, is four quarters and take care of the football.”
Laurel and Billings Central are slated for a 7 p.m. kick Friday evening.