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El Dorado quarterback Rester keeping defenses guessing

by Tony Burns | October 20, 2021 at 9:15 p.m.

There aren’t a lot of options left for defenses trying to stop El Dorado quarterback Sharmon Rester. The Wildcats proved they could move the ball through the air. The last two games, they showed they could advance on the ground.

There’s only one obstacle remaining. Unless someone figures out how to make Rester play underwater, he feels pretty good about his team’s chances, especially with his cadre of receivers.

“It’s actually fun watching the defensive coordinator get upset, not knowing who to guard,” Rester said. “If they double one, then one is open and if they double the other, then another one is open. So, it doesn’t really matter who they try to double team because we always have an answer for it.”

Rester has thrown for 1,874 yards, completing 99-of-157 attempts with 23 touchdowns and just four interceptions.

The past two weeks, the Wildcats have been held under 200 yards passing as teams tried to slow down the air attack.

“They actually have been doing that. They’ve been dropping into a lot of cover four. We’ve been getting the ball out to our under routes. If they’re playing out then we’re just running the ball, running inside zone and just beating them with numbers in the box,” said Rester.

“Honestly, I feel like they’re trying to take away the deep ball because they feel like we can’t run the ball, which is not true. Either way it goes, if we run the ball, we’re going to get first downs. If we throw the ball, we’re going to get first downs. Either way it goes, there’s no stopping us. There’s too many playmakers on the field. You can’t guard everybody.”

The senior has rushed for 483 yards, averaging 7.9 yards per carry, with four touchdowns. Along with running back Shadarious Plummer, El Dorado has unveiled a potent ground game.

Rester said he’s not worried about his passing statistics dropping.

“It doesn’t matter to me. I just want to win. We’re all going for the win,” he said. “That’s the only thing that matters at the end of the day. Stats come but the ‘W’ comes first.”

As a first-year starter, Rester quickly emerged as a premier player, not only in the conference, but around the state.

“What I’ve seen so far this season from Sharmon is hard work paying off,” said El Dorado coach Steven Jones. “He’s worked very hard since the end of the season, all through the off-season to become a more overall complete quarterback. Right now, that’s what we’re seeing. He is completely dialed in each and every day at practice. He’s leading us in that aspect. He takes practice seriously and that carries over to the rest of the team. He is showing great leadership skills. I think he’s one of the best high school players in Arkansas this year.”

Rester played multiple positions last season at quarterback, running back and receiver. He took over the reins at quarterback in the spring and never let go. The coach said he’s not surprised at his performance.

“All along we’ve seen the potential. The improvement he’s made from sophomore season to now as a quarterback is a testament to his hard work and also, becoming more comfortable in the role, continuing to learn and understand the offense and what we’re trying to do,” he said. “Being in the system for the third year now I think has a lot to do with him having a breakout year. He knows the offense front and back from every position. He knows how to communicate and is just a great leader.”

Rester, who ran a sub-4.4 40-yard dash during a camp last summer, not only has the eyes of opposing defenses but college recruiters as well. When asked about his recruiting, he answered, “I am now talking to Arkansas, Oklahoma State, UCA, Stephen F. Austin. I have Baylor interested. It’s some more schools but those are the big ones.”

Rester will have time to focus on his future. Right now, he’s thinking about Sylvan Hills, which will host the Wildcats on Friday in a crucial 6A-East collision.

As for El Dorado’s high-octane offense, he insisted nothing has taken him by surprise.

“It’s going exactly how we thought. Well, I thought we were going to go undefeated but, I mean, you can’t win them all. But the goal is to continue to win it all,” he said. “I don’t plan on losing anymore and I’m sure they don’t, either. We’re all working hard Monday through Thursday and then come Friday, we’re ready to play.”

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