Landon Peed has thrived this season as the forgotten man in the Fort Dodge St. Edmond offense.
Marooned at wide receiver in the Gaels’ power running offense that ranks second in Class 1A in rushing yards, Peed doesn’t see a lot of targets.
He also doesn’t see a lot of attention from defenders.
Despite playing in a St. Edmond offense that has attempted the third fewest passes among 1A teams, the 6-foot-2 Peed has emerged as a key cog in the Gaels’ attack.
Peed has caught 21 of the 23 passes completed by St. Edmond this season, good for 568 yards and seven touchdowns.
“We don’t feature the pass too much, but usually it’s pretty effective because teams forget about it,” St. Edmond coach Dick Tighe said. “We do have a very good receiver in Landon Peed, he’s a great all-around football player.”
Tighe’s admission that the Gaels don’t throw it much is a bit of an understatement.
In 13 games this season, St. Edmond has thrown just 53 passes — the third fewest number of attempts in Class 1A.
The Gaels’ 23 completions are the second fewest in 1A and the 10th fewest in the state.
St. Edmond has attempted more than six passes just once this season, throwing 11 in a 14-6 win over Manson-Northwest Webster in the second round of the playoffs.
Twice this season, St. Edmond failed to complete a pass and completed two or fewer passes in nine of 13 games.
“It’s not our primary thing, but when we throw, it’s pretty effective because teams are in a nine-man front a lot of times,” Tighe said. “When we do throw it, it’s been good for us. But throwing is not our big thing.”
The passing numbers may be low, but the effectiveness has been high.
St. Edmond is tied for the fewest interceptions in 1A with two, and Peed leads 1A in yards per catch at 26.
On a team that features a pair of 1,400 yard rushers, Peed has gone largely unnoticed by defenses this season.
Don’t expect that to happen against Regina coach Marv Cook.
“He is one of the most athletic receivers that you’ll see,” Cook said of Peed. “You talk about a guy that goes and gets the football. That’s what he does.”
Peed’s success feeds off a powerful St. Edmond running attack, led by fullback Vinnie Harvey and sophomore tailback T.J. O’Tool.
The duo is a classic contrast in styles and has combined for 3,000 yards and 49 scores.
The 225-pound Harvey has run for 1,581 yards and 35 touchdowns, while O’Tool has added 1,419 yards and 14 touchdowns while averaging better than 8.4 yards per carry.
“They have the right pieces in place to make it work,” Cook said of the St. Edmond offense. “If you don’t have a dominant fullback, a big, tough physical kid that can run inside the tackles, this offense isn’t going to be as effective. Then you have the tailback and he is an edge guy. When he gets on the edge he will stress you.”
Regina has been impressive defensively all season but has kicked it up a notch in the post season.
The Regals have held four playoff opponents to an average of 154 rushing yards a game.
That included holding the top rushing team (North Fayette Valley) and the third-ranked rushing squad (Maquoketa Valley) to a combined 397 yards.
North Fayette Valley entered the semifinals averaging 365 yards a game.
“Other teams have gone down and scored early, but once the Regals get ahead they don’t ever seem to muster much offense after that,” Tighe said. “They are so big and fast on defense. It will be a real challenge for us.”