College Football

Maturation key to improved performance by QU's Rund

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QU quarterback Andrew Rund throws a short pass in the middle to Owen Schoenenberger Saturday in their win over Alderson Broaddus. | H-W Photo/Michael Kipley
Michael Kipley 1|
By Herald-Whig
Posted: Sep. 11, 2017 7:40 am

QUINCY -- Kody Wood has caught passes from two record-setting quarterbacks during his Quincy University football career.

So when the senior wide receiver raves about the maturation of sophomore quarterback Andrew Rund, his words speak volumes.

Rund enjoyed the first 200-yard passing day of his career on Saturday, leading the Hawks to a 50-21 victory over Alderson Broaddus in the home opener at QU Stadium. While the numbers were good, the fact Rund took command of the offense the way his coaches and teammates had been imploring him to do was the most encouraging thing.

"From last week to this week, he's made huge leaps," said Wood, who caught three passes for 23 yards and a touchdown. "Some of his throws today were top-notch. I don't know how else to put it. He's making great reads, and he's running the ball hard. He's a dual threat."

The difference between the player who squandered three red zone opportunities in Week 1 and the one who engineered seven scoring drives against the Battlers was noticeable to everyone.

"Significantly, significantly better," senior running back Chris Harris said. "You can see how much he's already improved. I can't wait to see how he keeps on progressing throughout the season."

The better Rund is, more opportunities should open up for the offense.

The St. Louis Priory product played in eight games as a true freshman, attempting just 27 passes and never completing one longer than 22 yards. In the season-opening loss at Midwestern State, his longest completion was just 17 yards.

Against Alderson Broaddus, he had four completions that all would have been his career long. The longest was 43 yards to senior tight end Owen Schoenenberger on a first-half completion. Rund also connected with wide receiver Jordan Smith on a 40-yard touchdown pass, arguably his best pass of the day.

With Smith being covered man-to-man on the left side, Rund threw a pass toward the corner of the end zone that Smith caught in stride.

"You know you're the one out there," Rund said of his growing confidence. "You have to take the plays and make them work. You have to take advantage of every opportunity out there."

Rund did so in a very composed manner.

He wasn't sacked and rushed for 56 yards on seven carries, but he had to avoid pressure on a handful of occasions, stepping up in the pocket to deliver a pass even as defensive linemen swiped at his ankles.

"I notice it a little bit, but you can't let it faze you," Rund said. "You have to get used to making those plays. When it happens, I have to be the guy to step up so the offensive line knows I have their back and they have my back."

That's becoming abundantly clear.

"It's one small step for him, but it's one giant leap for our team," sophomore left tackle Justin Rosendahl said. "That's what we all have to keep doing every week. It's not just Andrew that has to be better. It's all of us."

The progress starts with Rund. He's improving not just game to game but snap to snap as well.

"He did a good job of managing the offense," QU interim head coach Gary Bass said. "He got us in and out of plays very well for just his second start. We're very pleased with his maturation so far."