|Schilz has been mentor for Johnson (11-22-13)|
|Written by By JACK CARLE, Sentinel Sports Editor|
|Friday, 22 November 2013 09:47|
Some parts of the season have gone exactly as Matt Schilz had hoped.
The Bowling Green football Falcons are in position to win the Mid-American Conference East title, and play in the MAC championship game.
A fifth-year senior, Schilz is happy that many of the members of his recruiting class have been key players in Bowling Green’s success.
On the flip side, Schilz has had to accept a role as mentor to Matt Johnson, a redshirt sophomore, who has started the last nine games at quarterback. Schilz has taken a positive approach to the situation.
‘‘Matt’s been really good,’’ BG head coach Dave Clawson said about Schilz. ‘‘Obviously going into your senior year, being a three-year starter, he’s disappointed that he’s not playing more, and he’s disappointed that he’s not starting. His attitude has been great. He’s so positive with Matt Johnson.
‘‘He has taken what could be a very uncomfortable situation, and made it a non-issue. I’ve told Matt this — I’m grateful that he has the type of character that he does, and he’s handled it the way he has.’’
Johnson appreciates the support he has received from Schilz.
‘‘He’s a big brother to me, since the day I got here. He’s helped me every single day with football, off-the-field, with whatever I’ve needed, he’s always been there,’’ Johnson said. ‘‘This year he’s helping me out with whatever the other team is doing, and whatever we’re doing.
‘‘He’s been in my shoes, he knows what I’m going through, the good and the bad,’’ Johnson added. ‘‘It helps that I can talk to him about anything.’’
In his career, Schilz started 36 games for the Falcons, suffering through 2-10 and 5-7 seasons before helping Bowling Green post eight wins last season and reach a bowl game.
Schilz is only the third quarterback in school history to throw for over 8,000 yards in his career. In 2011, Schilz completed 34 passes for 437 yards against Wyoming, and threw for 400 yards against Kent State.
‘‘When you’re starting, you’re playing a lot, and getting all the reps (repetitions) in practice, so it’s been different in that sense,’’ Schilz said about this season. ‘‘It’s been a great opportunity for me to work on my leadership, to work on facing adversity, and knowing how to channel that into something positive.
‘‘The goal is the same — do whatever I can to make this team better, and make the people around me better,’’ Schilz added.
While Schilz has been supportive of Johnson this fall, Johnson was there for Schilz last season.
‘‘Last year when Matt struggled, he didn’t have a bigger advocate on the team than Matt Johnson,’’ Clawson said. ‘‘Because of the way Matt Johnson handled it last year, I think it’s hard for Matt to not support his friend, because he knows his friend supported him.’’
The Falcons got on a roll last season after posting a 24-10 win over Akron. BG was trailing 10-0 at the half.
‘‘We didn’t play a very good half, and everybody was kind of down, and I know ‘Schilzie’ was a little down,’’ Johnson said about the Akron game. ‘‘I told him ‘we have just played the worst half possible, and we’re down 10-0.’ We came out and played the way we know how to play in the second half, and we really took care of them.
‘‘This year he has done the same thing for me,’’ Johnson continued. ‘‘If I throw an interception, he’s the first person to see me, and telling me to keep my head up and play the next play. He’s also the first person to greet me off the field after a good play too. He keeps me level-headed and makes sure my emotions don’t get to high.’’
Schilz appreciates the support he received from Johnson in 2012.
‘‘He’s always been my biggest fan; I’ve said that from the beginning,’’ Schilz said. ‘‘He’s always been there for me, and that’s helped me learn from him, so I can be there for him, and be there when he needs help.
‘‘I just try to be a big brother for him, and be supportive,’’ Schilz continued. ‘‘I have a lot of experience, so I can talk to him about a lot of things; so I think that helps as well.’’
Schilz will graduate In December with a degree in sport management.
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