Written by SportsDayDFW.com
Jesuit's offense remains efficient as QB Brian Buell takes over for injured Jack Brezette
Jack Brezette’s left leg looks like any other teenager’s: long, lean, even sturdy.
But that leg, with one quick snap of a football and then bone, has come to define the Jesuit football season.
Although it’s nearly impossible to tell from a quick glance today, Brezette broke his leg on Sept. 9, and backup quarterback Brian Buell stepped in as Jesuit’s new starter.
But like Brezette’s leg, which has been healing faster than anyone expected, the Jesuit team had an almost seamless recovery from its loss.
A casual observer might not even notice the difference between the two quarterbacks. In his three games before the broken leg, Brezette completed 77 passes for 1,064 yards. In the three games since, Buell has completed 84 passes for 932 yards, and Jesuit coach Brandon Hickman said that there’s almost no difference between the two players’ styles.
“We knew when Jack got hurt that Brian would step up and carry the team, which he’s done,” Hickman said.
In fact, Buell has a higher completion percentage — 65.6 percent — than Brezette’s 59.2 percent. He averages fewer yards per completion and has nine touchdowns to Brezette’s 13, but he has not thrown an interception. Brezette threw three.
In selecting Buell, a senior, as Brezette’s replacement, Hickman was placing a vote of confidence in his junior quarterback. Instead of promoting a younger player who might be Brezette’s eventual successor, Hickman went with the senior. Not only does that leave the job open again for Brezette when he’s healthy in the spring, it also meant that Hickman worried less about inexperience in Buell’s first game against W.T. White.
“We knew what kind of quarterback Brian was,” Hickman said. “He played last year a couple games on varsity, so we knew he had the experience.”
Perhaps the most positive aspect of Buell’s promotion has been his relationship with Brezette, who has essentially become another assistant coach for the Jesuit team. The two have been friends for a long time. They spent time on the field together in 7-on-7, where one would always be snapping the ball to the other. Buell said that they’ve always been able to discuss each play after the fact, to review ball placement, receivers and vision of the field.
With Brezette trolling the field during practices and pacing the sidelines at games, that communication is key. He’s stayed up to speed with the team’s playbook and helps with signals on Friday nights, but most important, Brezette has become a sounding board and source of encouragement for Buell.
“It’s always been a team effort, to be the Jesuit quarterback,” Buell said.
Hickman said that with each win, Buell’s confidence grew, but he doesn’t think that last week’s 54-7 loss to Skyline will derail the senior quarterback. The team knew what it would face in a dominant Skyline team. Buell was 22-of-35 for 188 yards.
Last week’s test was just a preview of what Buell and Jesuit might face if they make it a few rounds deep into the playoffs. And with Brezette behind him, signaling plays and even sometimes finishing his sentences, Buell has proved to be a capable leader.