PEA RIDGE (KFSM) - For a team that is playing in the 4A semifinals this weekend with a pair of 1,000-yard rushers in the backfield, attention tends to gravitate to the backfield. Pea Ridge has a backfield full of playmakers but their quarterback, Jakota Sainsbury, should not be overlooked with it comes to making plays.
"The one thing about Jakota that’s so impressive is, it’s never about the other team, it’s about how well he’s played," Pea Ridge coach Stephen Neal said. "It’s not I’ve got to prepare to play Shiloh or I’ve got to prepare to play Nashville. He plays against himself every week."
Sainsbury has provided a nice balance to the Blackhawks' offense as he's thrown for more than 1,700 yards as he's been able to take advantage of opposing defenses stacking the box.
"It definitely throws off the defense when we get in the power-I like we normally run," Sainsbury said. "We can get in different looks and you never know if we’re going to run the ball or if we’re going to drop back and pass. I’ve got good hands in Hayden Holtgrewe and Ryan Higgins and Britton Caudill when I need him."
Holtgrewe leads Pea Ridge with 62 catches for 992 yards and nine touchdowns and has provided the big play ability every quarterback loves.
"I can always count on those guys if they’re man on man, I know if I can throw it up to one of them, they’re going to go get and they’re going to make a play and make my job look easier and they’re always going to be there for me," Sainsbury said.
Pea Ridge is facing Shiloh Christian in the 4A semifinals Friday night in a rematch of the regular season finale, a game won by the Blackhawks 30-13.
"He never gets too high anymore," Neal said of his quarterback. "He never gets too low anymore. He’s just a good competitor and a good leader for our program."