Trio of players to take snaps

A change has come

Published: Friday, Oct. 25, 2013 12:15 a.m. CDT • Updated: Friday, Oct. 25, 2013 12:16 a.m. CDT
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(Philip Marruffo/pmarruffo@saukvalley.com)
Sophomore Sterling Thornton will take a lot of the snaps during Sterling's game against Ottawa tonight. The Warriors need a win to become eligible for the playoffs.

Who will be at quarterback for Sterling tonight in Ottawa?

Senior captain Bryant Lilly will start. After that: "It will be a rotation. We'll see what we like," Golden Warriors coach Jon Schlemmer said.

The rotation figures to be similar to last week, when Lilly started, sophomore Sterling Thornton took over, and senior all-purpose threat Logan Wharff got a few Wildcat looks here and there.

In last week's 48-21 win over Dixon, Thornton was 3-for-12 for 60 yards and rushed 14 times for 73 yards and two touchdowns.

"I was really surprised," Thornton said of the opportunity. "I was pretty jittery. I missed some easy passes."

Lilly, who is also seeing significant time at fullback, was 1-for-1 for 14 yards, carried 10 times for 24 yards, and had a 25-yard reception. And, Wharff had a 52-yard TD run out of the Wildcat.

"We can throw whatever we want at them at any time," Thornton said.

"We feel pretty good that we have three pretty explosive guys back there," Schlemmer said.

Sterling (4-4, 2-2 NIB-12 West) likely will need contributions from all three to win at Ottawa (3-5, 3-1) and become playoff eligible.

"It's a great opportunity to find out what we have in us," Thornton said. "It's a do or die situation. We're capable. We kind of hold our own destiny."

If only that were true. A win does not guarantee a postseason berth, however, as the Warriors have 32 playoffs points (oppenents' wins) at this point and will earn a maximum of 38. In recent years, it has taken 38 to 40 points for 5-4 teams to secure playoff spots.

Thornton, who moved to Sterling in seventh grade, was born in Peoria and lived in Canton and Collinsville before becoming a local. He did not go out for football in seventh or eighth grade.

A big part of the reason for the quarterback change was that Lilly's skills were needed elsewhere, according to Schlemmer.

"At times, we struggled to block," Schlemmer said. "Bryant's one of our better blockers. He's such a good football player. He can make that transition."

When: 7:30 tonight

Where: King Field, Ottawa

Twitter: Larry Brennan (@LarryBrennan)

Radio: 94.3 FM

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