After being beaten out for the starting quarterback job as a sophomore, Prosser’s Mason Schutt didn’t sulk.
Instead, he did what he could to help the Mustangs.
As a sophomore, he called in plays and did signals from the sidelines to Ryan Fassler. As a junior, he was one of Fassler’s many wide receivers.
Through it all, Schutt kept working hard and it eventually paid off with the starting quarterback job in this, his senior season.
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“He’s done really well,” Prosser coach Benji Sonnichsen said. “He has progressed really nicely. This is obviously what I was hoping he would turn into.”
Schutt leads the Mustangs into a critical contest at 7 p.m. Friday, hosting Ephrata in a must-win game. Prosser is in a four-way tie for second place in the CWAC, with two state playoff berths on the line. The Mustangs must win out to have a shot at the postseason.
“I don’t feel pressure at all,” Schutt said. “If we lose another game, we are out. We have to keep fighting and find a way to win, no matter what the score is.”
Schutt’s lone season as the starting quarterback has been rocky at times. But with so many new faces, the Mustangs weren’t expecting to have quite the same success as the last few years.
They overcame a season-opening loss to Kamiakin, and back-to-back road losses to Ellensburg and West Valley, to put themselves in a position to earn a playoff spot.
Schutt is a big reason why.
The 6-foot-5, 207-pound signal-caller is 109-of-215 for 1,467 yards with 18 touchdowns and seven interceptions.
“At times we are not catching the ball as well as we need to,” Sonnichsen said. “His percentage doesn’t look very good (50.7), but when you see the throws he has been making ...”
Schutt said a big reason he has been so successful this season is because of his time spent as a backup quarterback and a wide receiver.
“I got to know the plays a lot better,” he said. “Last year helped me know the routes better — how the wideouts will run it. It helped me visualize it as a quarterback so I’ll know where they will be beforehand.”
He has also progressed with his reads and gotten better at understanding the game in general.
“Going into the spring, as a staff we were looking at him like he had all the tools and the size, but his reads and his progressions weren’t where they needed to be,” Sonnichsen said. “We used our 7-on-7 time and our Boise State camp to help him progress.“He has made comments to me, he says, ‘I have grown so much this year just with progressions, being able to read defenses.' "
Sonnichsen also credits Schutt with helping keep things light on the sidelines, often joking around and bringing a smile to everyone’s faces. Which can be key during tense games.
Through it all, though, Schutt tries to not let the pressure get to him.
“It is a lot of fun,” he said of being quarterback. “If you lose the game, a lot of the blame comes on you and isn’t fun sometimes, but when you are winning, it is really fun.”
Schutt plans on having lots of fun the next two weeks.