Brendan Langley seems to be that go-to player this season just like current Tennessee player Brian Randolph was in 2010 when the Longhorns went undefeated in the regular season en route to the Class AAAA state quarterfinals.
Langley had one of the best games of his career last Friday in Kell’s 33-29 victory over Creekview, where he had three interceptions — one of which was returned for a touchdown — and 104 receiving yards and a touchdown.
And he’s likely to do more damage when Kell hosts North Springs tonight in a Region 7AAAAA crossover game.
While Langley’s numbers against Creekview were spectacular, his fourth-quarter catch on fourth-and-12 when Kell was trailing carries more weight. The Longhorns were down 29-26 with 6 minutes left when Langley lept in the air and beat his defender for the catch to keep the drive alive.
Khalil Bell scored the game-winning touchdown one play later.
Had it not been for that catch, the game could have had a different outcome.
“I told (coach Derek Cook) to believe in me and let me show my leadership capabilities,” Langley said. “I said ‘Coach, I will go up there and get it. I’m not going to let you down,’ and I went and got it.”
Langley has factored into Kell’s running game, which is now built around speed after relying on size and power over the last couple of seasons. He has 88 yards on nine carries.
While the South Carolina commitment has shown he can do it all on both sides of the ball, Cook is careful not to game-plan entirely on Langley’s abilities. He’s got other key players who can make plays on both sides of the ball like Julian Burris (Georgia) and Taylor Henkle, Jay Moxey and Michael Valero.
“You can go that route and gear every toward (Langley), but if you do that, someone will have a plan to shut you down,” Cook said. “What we want to do is give the ball to Langley when we feel we can be successful. There are cases when we use Langley as a decoy and for something else. You have to have a balance of what you want to do offensively. You can’t put all your eggs into one basket.”
Kell may be forced to rely on Langley more than usual, at least for the next week or two, because its options are limited. The Longhorns have been hit with injuries to their secondary over the last two games.
Burris hurt his ankle against Lassiter and Cook said he’s expecting to be ready in two weeks, and Quincy Mauger hurt his shoulder against Creekview and should also be ready in two weeks.