The Press Newspaper
Genoa senior quarterback Matt Bassitt would be the first to tell you he doesn't have the athletic gifts of Fostoria's dynamic senior quarterback Micah Hyde.
You can also bet that Hyde would rather have been in Bassitt's shoes this Friday when the Comets played Ottawa-Glandorf in the Division IV regional finals.
Bassitt's fourth-ranked squad (12-0) handed eighth-ranked Fostoria a 28-14 loss last Friday, ending Hyde's season and prep career.
"I know I'm not the key guy in our offense," said Bassitt, a three-year starter. "When my name is called, I give my best effort. Whether it's giving a fake or passing the ball, I'll give it my best. I know if I don't play my best game, my backs will pick me up. I just give them the ball and they will score."
Genoa, which rushed for 350 yards on 49 carries against Fostoria, haven't had much difficulty scoring this season. Last week, Genoa scored on all four first-half drives, which included Bassitt's 4-yard TD pass to Zach Apel with just 12 seconds left in the half. Bassitt's two-point conversion pass to Greg Hillabrand gave the Comets a 28-14 lead.
Second-year Genoa coach Mike Vicars said he didn't need to think too long about who his quarterback was going to be before last season. Bassitt was his man.
"You could just see those quarterback intangibles," said Vicars, who is 22-2 at Genoa. "The kids liked him, he was a good leader and he threw a really nice ball. The kids respected him quite a bit, so they were willing to follow him."
Bassitt's main role is to make sure the Comets' wing-T offense runs smoothly. Vicars called it being "a good field general."
"Sometimes we ask Matt to audible at the line and get us into the right play," the coach said. "He's excellent at that. He has good leadership and good huddle presence. The kids really look up to him."
Bassitt has been the model of consistency this season. In a first-round 47-21 playoff win over Huron, Bassitt completed 9-of-9 passes for 199 yards and touchdown passes covering 24, 26 and 37 yards.
On the season, the 6-1, 175-pounder has completed 63 percent (67-of-107) of his passes for 1,148 yards and 20 touchdowns, with four interceptions. He is rarely asked to run the ball and has minus-11 yards on 17 attempts on the season.
Bassitt was voted by area coaches and media to the Alan Miller Jewelers All-Press Team as an honorable mention choice behind first team choice, Clay senior Drew Kuns, and second team choice, Northwood senior Kyle Gunn — pretty good company in that position. But it’s the Comets who are still in the playoff hunt.
As a team, however, the Comets have out gained their opponents by a 3,515-1,082 margin on the ground.
"I just make sure the play gets in right and the ball gets snapped on time and we get our running backs the ball," Bassitt said. "Our backs are amazing. I've never played with a bunch of guys who didn't care who gets the ball, as long as we score and we're winning.
"I'm putting up good numbers. I'm doing better than last year. I've improved a lot and making better reads. I'm understanding the concept of our offense more and reading the coverages better."
A quarterback can be the single player who gets most of the praise when a team does well, but he also can get the most of the criticism when a team fails. Bassitt will forever be known as the QB who led Genoa to its first two playoff appearances and into the regional finals.
"I feel great, but it's not all about me," said Bassitt, who plays point guard on Genoa's basketball team and third base in baseball. "I'm not the only person doing good. Our offensive line is doing great. Everybody plays for the guys next to them and gives 110 percent every play. We're really fast and we have smart guys, and we just know how to play the game of football."
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