When Jay Urich took over as Wren’s quarterback this season, he wasn’t just new to the Hurricanes. He was still a novice under center.
Urich, a junior who transferred from Blue Ridge, played quarterback for the first time last year. Before that he played wide receiver.
“He’s really, really worked at it,” Wren coach Jeff Tate said. “It was a struggle at the beginning of the season. He was just so new to the position, and with the things that we try to do and like to do, it was difficult.
“But as time’s gone on, and we’ve gotten more experience because we’re so young, we’ve gotten a little bit better, and he’s gotten a lot better.”
Urich has thrown for 1,870 yards and 14 touchdowns and has been picked off only four times. Wren is 5-3 overall and 4-1 in the Western AAA Region heading into Friday’s game at Belton-Honea Path.
“He’s a lot like the one I had. Obviously he’s not that type of athlete, but as far as his makeup, he’s a lot like Kelly (Bryant). The more he plays and the more he learns, the better he gets.”
— This past week, Urich passed for 384 yards and three touchdowns in Wren’s 49-10 win over Walhalla. The highlight was a school-record-setting 99-yard touchdown pass to speedster Bailey Rogers in the second quarter.”He’s just now figuring it out,” Tate said. “But he’s a great kid, he works hard, he’s a great leader — he’s got all the qualities you want at that position.
“We ran a post and hit him at about 20, 25 yards, and he outran them,” Tate said.
The play eclipsed a 98-yard touchdown pass from Austin McCaskill to Sidney Rhodes in 2009.
“He hit Sydney down the seam, and, of course, Sydney could fly as well, and he took it 98 yards,” Tate recalled. “We don’t have to worry about anybody breaking it anymore. They might tie it, but they won’t break it.”
— Wren and BHP (6-2, 4-1), No. 7 in this week’s S.C. Prep Football Media Poll, are tied for second in the region behind No. 4 Seneca (8-0, 5-0), which has already beaten both teams.
“They are huge,” Tate said of the Bobcats. “I haven’t seen a team that big since I was at Byrnes and we played Belle Glade (Fla.). That team had (Division) I players everywhere. Seneca’s offensive and defensive fronts are a lot like that. They’re just grown men.”