In searching for their next quarterback, NFL scouts, general managers, analysts and fans of a team all ask the same question – is he our franchise signal-caller?
Well, Chapman football took a completely different approach to this idea in 2019 – and it paid off. In the midst of an undefeated regular-season run and home National Collegiate Athletic Association playoff victory, the Panthers were led by an unconventional two-quarterback tandem of junior Jonston MacIntyre and sophomore Reed Vettel.
“You don’t see a two-quarterback (rotation) work too often,” MacIntyre said. “But we were able to make it work.”
The plan was to choose a single starting passer by the time of the team’s first regular-season home game, Vettel said. Yet head coach Bob Owens ended up rotating the two in and out throughout that game, with the team beating Oregon’s Pacific University in convincing fashion. Thus, the team chose to stick with the two-gunslinger rotation for the duration of the year – and they found it caused quite a conundrum for their opposition.
“We would switch off every two series (throughout games),” MacIntyre said. “Since we’re such different players, they have to gameplan for both of us and we were able to take advantage of that all year.”
Normally, such an arrangement might create tension in the locker room. Yet throughout the year, MacIntyre and Vettel instead aimed to help each other improve for the betterment of the team, through sharing different parts of their game with one another.
“I’m not the most mobile guy, so he definitely wanted me to run more,” Vettel said of MacIntyre’s advice. “He helped me through my reads so I could make better throws in different coverages.”
Off the field, Vettel and MacIntyre became close. In addition to working on one another’s craft, the two dueled in furious games of Madden, a popular football videogame franchise.
“As the season went on, the brotherhood got stronger and stronger,” Vettel said. Ultimately, the two have nothing more than empty grasps at what’s to come of their roles.
“It’s up to the coach about what we do,” Vettel said. “Ultimately we want to continue the success we had going this year.”