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MICDS quarterback wants to lead Rams back to state

Every time Reagan Andrew looks at his cellphone, the reminder is there in living color. It stares at him.

The MICDS sophomore quarterback who lives in Chesterfield has a photo on his phone’s screen of the scoreboard at Faurot Field taken last Nov. 30. It reads Ladue 48, MICDS 11. The game was the Class 4 state championship game.

“It still stings,” Andrew said. “I think it keeps us motivated.

“You know, it was hard. We went into that game and our whole goal was to win a state championship. It didn’t happen.”

MICDS quarterback Reagan Andrew [Glen Williams photo]

So Andrew and the Rams will try again this season. The Rams are off to a 2-0 start with both wins coming on the road. MICDS opened with a come-from-behind 34-27 victory over Poplar Bluff and followed that with a 34-21 win against Park Hills Central.

The 5-foot-8, 180-pound Andrew became the quarterback in his first game as a Ram. Coach Matt Buha inserted Andrew into the lineup late in the first quarter in a game at McCluer South-Berkeley. Andrew ran for one touchdown and threw for another to help the Rams to a 28-6 win.

He’s never looked back.

He led the Rams to a 20-14 state semifinal win over Smithville. He completed 10 of 18 passes for 200 yards and a pair of touchdowns in that win. He connected with Graham Bundy for a 24-yard TD toss to open the scoring in the first quarter, and with the Rams trailing 14-13 with 2:50 left to play in the third quarter, Andrew hit Bundy with an 83-yard strike that proved to be the game-winner.

Last season, he completed 112 of 213 passes [53 percent] for 1,708 yards and 17 touchdowns. He had eight interceptions. MICDS reached the state title game and finished 13-2.

Andrew is modest about his achievements.

“I didn’t do much personally. My job was to get the ball to the people who were going to score for us,” Andrew said. “I don’t think 13-2 is too bad of a freshman year.”

“Reagan is a model student-athlete,” Buha said. “He devotes a ton of time to his film study and has worked hard to improve his understanding of the dynamics of the game as a whole. The most impressive thing about him is that things seem to move slowly for him when he’s on the field, and as an athlete there is a premium on possessing that skill.”

Andrew believed he would play as a freshman.

“I knew I’d get my chance last year. I knew coach wanted Graham [Bundy] to be used more as a utility player because he can do many things well,” Andrew said. “I went in and knew it was my spot to lose.”

He did not lose it.

“With the senior leadership and talent on that team, I just got the snap and gave them the ball or threw it to them,” Andrew said.

MICDS quarterback Reagan Andrew [Glen Williams photo]

He wants to do more this season.

“I am going to step up and be more of a vocal leader,” Andrew said. “We lost a lot of seniors from last year’s team. This year, I want to do what I can to help the team in any way. I read the defenses well and can get the ball out quickly. I wasn’t the fastest or most explosive runner last year.

“I’ve worked to do better in that area. After a year, I’m going to be better running the ball. I want to be more of a dual threat. I can throw it and I can run it if I need to. I think that will help our team.”

Buha expects no less from Andrew

“Reagan has always been a hard-working young man and has been committed to improving himself and our football program,” Buha said. “Our kids see the example that he sets, and as a result he is a natural leader.

“My expectations for him are the same as they were last year: Lead your teammates and use your intellect to put us in the best possible position when you’re on the field.”

In the season opener, Andrew engineered three scores in the fourth quarter to lead the Rams by Poplar Bluff.

MICDS was down 27-14 going into fourth quarter. Then, Reagan scored a 5-yard run but the kick failed. Steve Hall ran in from 9 yards but the run failed. So the Rams were trailing 27-26 with 3:04 left.

The MICDS defense forced Poplar Bluff to go three and out on its next possession.

The Rams took over on their own 46 with just over 2 minutes remaining. MICDS had no time outs. But Buha was confident.

“Over the last four years, our program has developed the ability to never get rattled by the scoreboard,” Buha said. “I commend our kids for that skill.”

Andrew said Buha didn’t have much to say before he went on the field.

“He just told me I had to be the leader and to take control,” Andrew said.

Poplar Bluff used their final time-out.

The Rams struck for the game-winning touchdown. Andrew found junior Nate Smith for a 25-yard touchdown pass with eight seconds left.

“Their defense was aligned in a way that would allow us to hit a post route to the middle of the field,” Buha said.

Again, Andrew said the credit goes to Smith, who got open on the play.

“I just put the ball in there,” Andrew said. “Nate ran around and got open. He’s a very good receiver.”

The score led to a celebration.

“Our kids, our staff, and our fans were all excited after that one,” Buha said.

So was Andrew.

“I think it’s a huge win for us,” Andrew said. “We won on the road over a good Class 5 team. This is the kind of win we can build on. We left some points on the board in the first half. That’s how young we are. We can get better at that. We learned most of all in the game is that were never out of it. If our young guys had any doubts, it’s out of their minds now. This shows us how good our team can be.”

In the second game, MICDS trailed 21-14 at halftime. However, the defense blanked Park Hills Central in the second half. The offense put up 20 points to earn the victory.

The start is a good one but Andrew knows the Rams have a long way to go.

“We want to be state champions,” Andrew said. “We fell short last year. The loss was crushing. We lost some good players but we have good players on this team. We have a chip on our shoulder.”

Andrew is also a good baseball player. He plays shortstop and catcher for the Rams. In the summer, he plays shortstop and center field for the St. Louis Gamers.

“I’ve been playing football and baseball for a while,” Andrew said. “I love to compete. I love game of baseball. It’s such a mental sport.”

He likes both sports and doesn’t have a true favorite.

“It changes season to season,” Andrew said. “If you asked me now, I’d said it’s football and then it’s baseball when I’m playing that. Now I’m playing football and that’s my focus.”

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