High school football is all about being able to adapt to changes on the fly, whether they be from injuries or other factors.
The Milton Red Hawks have shown that all season, having to change quarterbacks several times.
In the fifth week of the 2021 season, Milton is now on its fourth quarterback, as junior Brayden Bastien took over signal calling duties last week.
Milton head coach Rodney Wedig said he and his staff’s philosophy is to have players ready to step into key positions at a moment’s notice.
“Next man up,” the concept is called.
And there’s perhaps no more key position on the field than quarterback.
Wedig said Bastian, who’s been a receiver most of this season, has adapted well to the change.
“We call him ‘QB4,’” Wedig said with a smile during a practice earlier this week.
For Bastian, being ready to do what the team needs is just part of the deal.
“They told me last week that I was starting at QB Friday night,” Bastian said. “I was ready, and my teammates have been very supportive.”
Bastian isn’t new to the QB position: He’s been playing football since age 6, and has played quarterback over the years.
Bastian’s stat line for his first varsity start under center? He was 7-of-13 passing for 58 yards and a TD.
And, most importantly, the Red Hawks defeated Janesville Parker 17-0 to improve to 2-3 overall on the season (1-2 Badger Large) and keep their WIAA Division 2 playoff hopes alive.
The Red Hawks are primarily a running team, but Bastian proved last Friday night that he can sling the football just fine when needed.
“I’ve got a pretty strong arm,” Bastian said during a practice earlier this week.
The Red Hawks’ rushing attack features several plays where running back Jack Campion lines up in the shotgun and takes a direct snap—a set sometimes called the wildcat formation. On those plays, Bastian splits out wide in his customary receiver slot.
Whatever it takes to help the team win, Bastian said.
“We want to win the rest of the season, and I’m going to do my part to make that happen,” Bastian said.