As a parent or a coach, it’s not something you want to see. But there Martin Tobias was, wearing both hats, standing at midfield as his son and starting quarterback was loaded onto a stretcher.
Last weekend, Penns Valley signal-caller Andrew Tobias was sacked by two Bellefonte defenders, his head hit the grass, and he remained on the ground. A total of 12 people — everyone from his father to trainers to Bellefonte coaches — created a circle around the player.
After being strapped onto a wheeling stretcher, Tobias exited Rogers Stadium in an ambulance.
Martin Tobias has been asked ever since how his son is doing. Thankfully, he has good news to report.
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“Everything checked out well,” the coach said. “We appreciate everyone’s concern. Obviously it was something that you don’t ever like to see anyone go through. But he’s doing very well.”
So well that the quarterback might play on Friday against Chestnut Ridge.
Andrew Tobias, who has movement in his fingers and toes, “got a clean bill of health through the hospital,” his father said. Tobias even practiced in a limited fashion this week.
Still, the quarterback hasn’t been cleared as a full participant for the upcoming game. As the coach said, there is no “health risk or health threat” to Tobias, but more clearance from medical officials is necessary.
“We’re checking day by day,” Martin Tobias said. “We’re hoping he’ll be able to play, but we’re not sure yet.”
If Tobias can’t go, it’ll be Ben Alexander under center.
Alexander, a senior, has made his presence felt as an all-purpose threat this season. He has accumulated four offensive touchdowns, one rushing and three receiving. The speedster even has an interception and kick return for a touchdown.
Quarterback wouldn’t be new to Alexander, either. He was the Rams’ primary passer last season, totaling 775 yards and five touchdowns through the air and 799 yards and 11 scores on the ground.
“Ben’s got the experience. Ben has played there before. Ben knows what to do,” Martin Tobias said. “He’s done it before. We’re in very capable hands, either way.”
The coach also made sure to note that, despite Alexander’s “great skill-set”, the Rams’ offensive approach won’t change, regardless of who is at quarterback.
“We’ve got a gameplan, and that’s what we’re sticking with,” Tobias said. “Ben does some things differently...but it doesn’t change the overall gameplan.”
That plan will face an anything but consistent Chestnut Ridge defense.
The Lions (4-3) have played lockdown defense in their victories, but have allowed opponents to pour it on in losses. In its four wins, Chestnut Ridge has yielded just seven points, but in three shortcomings, the opponent has averaged 50 points per game.
Tobias is hoping his team experiences the latter, regardless of who is at quarterback.