By Brad Fauber
STEPHENS CITY -- Sherando senior quarterback Reid Entsminger had a bit of a premonition when he was watching Northwestern District rival Handley play against Liberty in Week 1 of the high school football season.
With the Warriors' own contest against Liberty looming at midseason on Oct. 4, Entsminger and a few of his fellow teammates liked what they saw in their initial impression of the Eagles, and Entsminger recalls the group saying amongst themselves that the "the Liberty game is going to the game where everything clicks."
Entsminger and his teammates couldn't have been more right.
Sherando played arguably its most complete game of the season, as the offense was explosive and the defense was stout in a 45-23 victory that wasn't as close as the final score suggested.
The Warriors (5-1) received plenty of notable contributions on both sides of the ball in the victory, but it was Entsminger who stole the show, as the 5-foot-11, 200-pound quarterback completed 15 of 18 passes for 340 yards and a school record five touchdowns. He also ran for 57 yards and another score.
"I surprised myself that game, but I expect to play at that level each game," said Entsminger, The Northern Virginia Daily's Male Athlete of the Week for the week of Sept. 29-Oct. 5. "I thought I performed to a high level. I couldn't do it without the offensive line, especially. They blocked really well that game.
"That was our best game this year and we just have to keep building off of it."
Entsminger's five touchdown passes last Friday eclipsed the old mark set by current University of South Alabama quarterback Ross Metheny, who threw four touchdown passes in a game for the Warriors as a junior in 2007.
Entsminger's 340 passing yards are also the second most in school history, behind Metheny's record of 403 yards.
"It's pretty sweet. It's something you work for, especially my senior year -- being here for four years on varsity and finally getting a record," Entsminger said. "Especially at quarterback, that's hard to get after Ross Metheny's performances ... just to have my name above his in one thing is a real honor and I'm proud of myself, I'm proud of [head] coach [Bill] Hall and my team for helping me get there."
Entsminger, who said the Warriors took advantage of a Liberty defense that utilized just one high safety, threw two touchdown passes each to junior Adam Whitacre and freshman Dylan Rivers, and connected with senior Branden Litten for another.
Four of Entsminger's touchdown passes went for 35 yards or more, including an 82-yard strike to Whitacre (five catches, 190 yards on Friday) late in the third quarter that gave Sherando a 33-3 lead.
"The safety was in the middle of the field and we had a spread, two receivers to each side. I just looked off one way and then just gave the ball up for Adam to catch," said Entsminger, who now has 976 yards passing this year to go along with nine touchdowns and three interceptions. "No one could catch him."
Hall, who also serves as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach, credited Entsminger's endless preparation as the reason for his record-setting performance.
Hall said he meets with Entsminger every day during the week to go over film and dissect opposing defenses, and Hall said "80 percent of the things that [Entsminger] does in terms of throws happens before the ball is even snapped."
"It was an accumulation of me working with him," Hall said of Entsminger's performance last Friday. "He can't have a performance like that unless you have a total grasp of what you're trying to accomplish.
"The reason I trust him is because of the time he's put in ... he understands situational football. When can you take a shot and when can you not take a shot? He understands all that. All quarterbacks don't have that or don't understand that. He's very savvy, and that's from playing for four years."
Contact sports writer Brad Fauber at 540-465-5137 ext. 184, or email@example.com. Follow on Twitter @BradFauberNVD