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At the time, it might have been an important moment in Columbus East’s 48-20 victory over visiting New Albany on Friday.
The Olympians had taken the ball back on offense in the first quarter after the Bulldogs had scored to cut East’s lead to 14-7.
The East coaching staff decided to try to strike back quickly, calling for a fly pattern by wide receiver Sean Owens.
Owens, one of the fastest players on East’s roster, had no trouble slipping behind New Albany’s defensive backs and was five yards clear when quarterback Alex Cowan heaved the long pass.
The Owens file
Name: Sean Owens
SCHOOL: Columbus East
SIZE: 6-foot, 170 pounds
STATS: 19 rushes for 108 yards, 1 touchdown; 3 catches for 47 yards, 1 touchdown
The coordination between Owens and Cowan was a bit off, though, and when Owens slowed down, the ball drifted over Owens’ head incomplete. A wasted opportunity.
As it turned out, it was just one of many scoring opportunities for East, but it also was a prime display of what might be possible when the Olympians get into the postseason against tougher opposition.
Teams are going to sell-out to stop the running game of Cowan and tailback Markell Jones, and if that connection between Cowan and Owens is successful, it could turn into a game-breaker.
“The thing with Sean is that he is a guy who could do anything for us,” East coach Bob Gaddis said. “He is such a versatile athlete and arguably the fastest guy on the team. He can even take quarterback reps for us.”
Gaddis’ toughest problem might be deciding what to do with Owens.
With the running game taking center stage, Owens has caught three balls for 47 yards this season, including a 30-yard touchdown.
When games get out of hand, Gaddis shifts Owens over to tailback to replace Jones, and Owens has gained 108 yards on 19 carries with a touchdown during those opportunities.
He certainly isn’t the focus of the offense at wide receiver, but his athleticism forces teams to respect him as a deep threat, and that has to help Jones and Cowan by keeping opponents from playing all its defensive players on the line of scrimmage.
“It can be kind of frustrating at times,” Owens said of his role. “But in the grand scheme of things, it is a team game.
“We have been executing our offense well, and Alex has been making the right reads.”
It could be interesting to see if East works its passing game a bit more as it heads toward the playoffs. Owens is the first to admit that he could be sharper.
“There are a couple of balls that I should have caught,” he said.
When the opportunities come, no matter how infrequently, he has to make the most of them.
Although it was only a five-yard reception, Owens had a big play in East’s win over the Bulldogs. On fourth-and-four from the 29-yard line in the first quarter, Owens worked free along the sideline for a five-yard catch and a first down. On the next play, Christian Wichman ran 24 yards for a touchdown and a 28-14 lead.
“I just like helping out the team,” Owens said.
So from playing wide receiver, tailback and defense, does Owens have a favorite spot?
“Probably receiver,” he said. “People don’t realize how hard it is to read the defense before the play and then making adjustments.”
Once football is over, Owens will make the adjustment to track and field. He ran a 10.95 100 meters last season and qualified for the state meet.
“Track really is my No. 1 sport,” he said. “That’s what I think about doing in college.”
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