Like a music conductor, Preston Weber orchestrated many winning performances.
The senior quarterback for the Pierz Pioneers led his team to a 10-2 record and the program’s ninth trip to the Class 2A state tournament.
And while it wasn’t his best showing of the season, Weber was deserving of an encore in his final game as a Pioneer Nov. 11 at St. Cloud State University.
Weber went 12-of-19 for 120 yards and a touchdown during Pierz’s 26-20 state quarterfinal loss to the Moose Lake-Willow River Rebels.
“The one thing about Preston is you never had to worry about him getting it right,” said Pierz head coach Leo Pohlkamp. “He had a heck of a year. Last year, he played wide receiver for us and was our backup quarterback. The second half of this season he played very well for us and did many good things.”
Weber also had two interceptions in the first half of that final game to finish with eight for the season.
“We were able to get them in a third and long situation which is what we were trying to do all game,” said Weber. “We figured if we could shut them down on first and second downs and make them pass we would have some opportunities to make plays.
“Our line had been doing a good job of getting a rush to the quarterback and that makes it easier for the defensive backs because we know the QB is being rushed. It also creates more opportunities to make plays on the ball and that’s what I did.”
On the season, Weber threw for 1,023 yards and six touchdowns. His last touchdown throw, a perfectly placed, 27-yard pass to Ben Boser, may have been his best.
“I would say so because of the circumstances,” said Weber. “It was just a simple fade right. I threw it up to Ben and let him go get it. Every week we practice throwing a bunch of routes. The varsity guys were getting pretty good on the timing on the fade. Ben is a pretty fast receiver so I just have to throw it over his outside shoulder and let him do the rest.”
He was 72-of-152 passing and averaged 14.2 yards per reception. He also rushed for 138 yards and three touchdowns on 48 carries.
Defensively added nine pass defenses, one fumble recovery and 41 tackles.
“He is such a smart kid,” said Pohlkamp. “He took his ACT and scored a 35. A perfect is 36 so he retook it again and got another 35. You could give me three tries and I might total 35. He does the work. He did the summer work. He watches film and he does everything. He’s a perfectionist. The guy plays five instruments and he plays them well.”
Actually, he plays seven with the oboe being his primary instrument. He also plays the piano, drums, guitar, tenor saxophone, a mean banjo for the assisted living community, and a little clarinet.
“In a band, every player has a common goal and every one has to work together and in sync to be successful,” Weber said. “It’s the same in football. Your whole line has to work together. Then your running backs need to run the ball well and your receivers need to catch the ball. Everyone’s goal is the same goal and that’s to succeed. They all do their individual things to create a beautiful product.”
And more times than not, at least on the football field, the product was a win.
JEREMY MILLSOP may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 855-5856.