Muller to Mooberry.
That sentence, often repeated over the Osage loudspeakers these past two weeks, has been a dreaded one much of the season for opponents of the Green Devils football team.
Last week, in Osage's 53-6 win over Central Springs, quarterback Colin Muller and wide receiver Spencer Mooberry connected for six receptions for 162 yards and four touchdowns.
On Friday, in the Green Devils' 33-7 win over Aplington-Parkersburg in the first round of the playoffs, the senior standouts again connected for big yards.
On the first drive of the game, Muller and Mooberry connected for three receptions and 83 yards.
In the second quarter, Mooberry put the Green Devils on the board with a 28-yard rushing touchdown, and added a six-yard score later in the quarter that gave Osage a lead it would never relinquish.
On the day, Mooberry and Muller connected for six receptions, and approximately 157 yards.
“Me and Colin have a good connection,” Mooberry said. “We practice every single day and we knew that their outside linebackers weren’t as athletic as our athletes. It's not just me, the o-line, they’re blocking, giving him time to throw me the ball."
The two have been longtime teammates, dating all the way back to third grade flag football. In Youth Sports Football (YSF), Muller and Mooberry both served as quarterbacks, with each one playing for a half.
These days, the two are racking up plays on a bigger stage. Over the past two weeks, Muller has thrown for approximately 732 yards and a total of 10 touchdown passes. Mooberry has scored a total of six touchdowns in the past two games, three on the ground and three through the air.
With their long football history together, sometimes it seems like they know what the other is thinking on the field. If he gets the right block from his offensive line, Muller can zip the ball to Mooberry almost anywhere on the field, and Mooberry’s athleticism makes him extremely hard to bring down for opposing defenses.
Off Mooberry's six catches against the Falcons, all of them went for at least 15 yards
“It’s awesome,” Mooberry said. “Me and him are like best friends, too, so it keeps that connection. We know we can be a 1-2 punch if we need it, but also we know that we have so many other guys that can help us out and achieve our goals for the season.”
The season has not been an easy one for either of them. Early in the year, Mooberry was hobbled by a bursa sac issue in his knee. He left the Green Devils’ Sept. 25 game against Jesup at halftime due to a problem with his shoulder.
At that point, first year head coach Torian Wolf said that he was worried Mooberry might be done for the season.
Since that week, Mooberry has racked up over 100 receiving yards in all three games.
“We thought he was done at that point for the season, and he came back from that,” Wolf said. “The kid is just a warrior, and he wants to be on the field regardless. He’s going to Division I (North Dakota State) to wrestle, and he just wants to be out here with his team, winning games. I can't say enough about his mentality.”
For Muller, the main issue this season was getting used to a new playbook and style of offense that came with the hiring of Wolf. Wolf admits that early in the year, he and Muller struggled to communicate at times, but lately, Muller seems to have finally mastered Wolf’s offense.
Over the past two weeks, Muller has thrown 10 touchdown passes, with no interceptions.
“Now that me and him are on the same page, look at how special that kid can do it,” Wolf said. “It’s fun to watch him.”
With Mooberry now fully healthy, and Muller thriving on offense, the Green Devils appear to be peaking at the right time. In addition to the M&M combination, Ben Miller, Tyler Oberfoell and Connor Tabbert are all valuable weapons at wide receiver, while junior Noah O’Malley and sophomore Brayden Onken provide Mooberry some relief in the run game.
Against the Falcons, Mooberry finished with 73 rushing yards in addition to his 157 yards through the air.
"It gives us so much more room," Muller said of Mooberry's presence in the offense. "We can do so much more things with him. We have so many athletes on the field at all times, and he’s just another weapon."
With Friday's win, Osage gets a much-anticipated rematch in the second round of the playoffs against Columbus Catholic, a team that beat the Green Devils 34-7 on Sept. 11. In that game, the Green Devils managed only 115 total yards of offense, and Muller threw four interceptions.
This time around, they're looking for payback.
"They played really well against us the first time, but again, we weren’t confident in what we were doing at that point," Wolf said. "We were coming off of basically a bye week due to COVID, and we weren’t ready for that game, that’s just the dead honest truth. Now that we’re clicking, and we're confident and all that, I think we’re ready now."
Shane Lantz covers sports for the Globe Gazette. You can reach him at Shane.Lantz@GlobeGazette.com, or by phone at 641-421-0526. Follow Shane on Twitter @ShaneMLantz.
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