Garrison Kear is 6-foot-4 and 250 pounds. He’s kind of hard to miss whether he’s on a football field, in a hallway or talking to a reporter.
Still, the Central Catholic High School senior hopes to introduce himself to Williamsville quarterback Justice Ferrier in Saturday’s Class 3A second-round playoff game at Williamsville.
Kear and his teammates on the Saints’ defensive line will try to come facemask to facemask with Ferrier, who has completed 67 percent of his passes for 2,117 yards and 23 touchdowns.
“It’s just getting off (the ball) and having more than one move,” Kear said. “You need to get your hands up. If you get your hands in his face, (a quarterback) feels the pressure a lot more.
“Even when he’s gotten rid of the ball, make sure he knows you’re there … maybe with just a little tap or something.”
The task for Kear, 6-3 Daniel Horton, 6-2 Declan Rhodes and 6-1 Joe Malinowski will be to disrupt what Central head coach Mike Moews called “the most vertically passing team we’ve seen all season.”
“They run the ball probably 30 to 40 percent of the time, but they look deep to short (in the passing game),” Moews said. “We need to get pressure from our front four ... ideally without having to blitz so we can get some people into coverage.
“A good example was against Tolono (in the regular-season finale). We disrupted their throwing. We were in the passing lanes. Our D-line has decent size. Their quarterback is only 5-11, so hopefully we can get in his path a little bit and make him get the ball out early.”
Moews said Ben Hoscheidt, Patrick Namoff and Keegan DeLong also will rotate in on the defensive line.
No. 2 state-ranked Williamsville (10-0) is seeded second, while fourth-ranked Central (9-1) is seeded seventh heading into the 2 p.m. game.
Ferrier’s favorite target is senior Joseph Mitchell, who became Williamsville’s career leader in receiving yards this season. He caught eight passes for 112 yards in last week’s 52-6 first-round win over Spring Valley Hall.
Mitchell has 49 catches for 762 yards and eight TDs, while senior Hunter Thompson has 30 receptions for 726 yards and 10 touchdowns.
Ferrier, who has thrown 11 interceptions, completed his first eight passes last week during an 18-for-27 day with 233 yards and a touchdown. He also ran for 118 yards and four scores.
“The best defense might be a good offense … keep them off the field,” Moews said. “We’ve had really good balance offensively. We need to stay within ourselves and do what we do and see how she goes.”
Central senior quarterback Max Moews has a 65 percent completion rate with 1,805 yards, 22 touchdowns and six interceptions. The running game has been fueled by senior Sa’Mond Davis with 1,278 yards, 23 TDs and 8.0 yards per carry.
Senior James Morris is the area’s leading receiver with 43 catches, 1,070 yards and 11 touchdowns. Also a starter at linebacker, Morris injured a hand in last week’s 35-31 comeback win over Beardstown but will play Saturday, Moews said.
Senior linebacker D.J. Mumaw leads Williamsville in tackles (96) and tackles-for-loss (14).
“I think offensively we have a lot of confidence that we can move the ball,” Mike Moews said. “With these guys we have to be patient. They’re very aware of not getting beat deep. They’ll rush three a lot and drop eight, so we have to get open, take eight to 10 yards at a time and not get greedy.”
The winner plays either Monticello or Byron in next week’s quarterfinals.