Seldom is there a primary receiver on a Canyon passing play. Such is the nature of Coach Harry Welch’s playbook.
“Everybody has a pattern that they run,” quarterback Rod Baltau said. “I just read it and find the open man.”
Usually that is Clint Beauer, a 6-foot, 3-inch, 175-pound junior. Beauer hauled in 7 passes for 137 yards, including 2 acrobatic touchdown grabs, as Canyon defeated Alemany, 35-15, Friday night at Canyon.
Ordinarily, Canyon receivers run “mirror patterns,” leaving Baltau a choice of throwing to either side of the field. Before the season, Welch heralded his receivers as the best in his 7-year tenure at Canyon. With a much-improved Baltau in the pocket, all were seemingly assured of sharing in the action.
But after 5 games, Beauer has 28 receptions, second in the Valley and 4 times as many as any other teammate.
“I have no idea why I have so many,” Beauer said. “I’m just lucky. If you look at the stats, it looks like they throw to me all the time, but we don’t really pick out who we’re going to throw to. It’s just which one is open.”
And that’s usually Beauer.
“The ball just finds its way to Clint more often than others,” Baltau said. “He’s open. I know he’s going to catch it and I know he’s going to make the exceptional grab. I don’t know, I guess he’s my favorite receiver.”
That was apparent Friday night.
In Canyon’s opening drive of the second half, Baltau rolled right on third down at the Alemany 12-yard line. On the run, Baltau zipped the ball to Beauer, who made a leaping grab between 2 defenders before tucking his feet inside the end zone marker. The score gave the Cowboys a 28-7 lead and control of the game.
On the first play of the fourth quarter, Baltau dropped back to pass on fourth down at the Alemany 29. Scrambling away from heavy pressure, Baltau heaved an arching spiral to the end zone. Again, Beauer leaped between two defenders, tipped, juggled, and finally hugged the ball as he landed for a touchdown.
“Clint made a good grab on it,” Baltau said. “It didn’t surprise me. The only thing that surprises me is the occasional great grab.”
What surprises Welch is Beauer’s tenacity. Beauer played the entire game despite suffering a badly sprained left ankle in the first quarter. He arrived at school on crutches Monday but insisted that he will play Friday in Canyon’s Golden League opener against Burroughs of Ridgecrest.