By: Nate Schneider
Alma's Brec Alward a threat score at any time for versatile Panthers offense
ALMA – Be it offense, defense or special teams, Alma’s Brec Alward is a threat to take it to the house anytime he gets his hands on the football.
A junior with plenty of speed and quickness, Alward is off to a sizzling start this season. Alward is a true triple threat for the Alma football team as a starting running back, cornerback and kick returner. Through Alma’s first four games this season Alward has scored touchdowns in each area.
“Brec has great speed and is the fastest running back we’ve had in quite a while at Alma,” said Alma coach Dan Falor. “On top of that he is very elusive and has very good vision. He makes very good cut to get out in the open and after that he is tough to catch.”
Through Alma’s first five games this season Alward has rushed for nearly 800 yards and 13 touchdowns. Alward. He has also returned two kicks for a touchdown and scored a defensive touchdown on an interception.
While Alward is a big part of Alma’s offense, his contributions on defense are also a big part in Alma’s 5-0 start to the season.
“Brec is a cornerback for us and he can run with any wide receiver out there,” Falor said. “As a sophomore last year teams tended to go at him. He led the team in interceptions last season and already has a couple this year.”
When teams kick the ball to the Panthers, they face a dilemma as wide receiver Brandon Huff joins Alward as a kick returner, giving Alma a pair of home run hitters in the return game.
“Brec and Brandon are a pretty good one-two combination,” Falor said. “Either one of these guys is a handful once they get their hands on the ball.”
Huff is part of an Alma passing game that gives the Panthers a versatile offense. Huff has caught nine passes for 290 yards and three touchdowns. Chase Albaugh has added 12 pass receptions for 236 yards and three touchdowns.
Quarterback Drew Humm pilots an Alma offensive attack that is putting up 33.8 points per game. Through the first four games of the season Humm has passed for 590 yards and six touchdowns.
Paving the way for the offense is a rebuilt offensive line that is coming into its own.
“Our offensive line has been a work in progress,” Falor said. “We lost a couple of three-year starters so early on we had to make some changes. We’ve mixed and matched but we’ve figured things out and settled on a line that is improving each week.”
Alma is also showing improvement on defense. Colton Schworer leads the Panther defense with 42 tackles while Huff has added 36 tackles and an interception. Brock Milan has totaled 32 tackles and an interception while Albaugh has 29 tackles and six tackles for loss.
“We’ve played well as a team,” Falor said. “The team has been working hard and getting better each week. We just want to keep improving as we have some tough games coming up.”