MERRILLVILLE | Matt DeSomer's maturation process reached a new level in a game not tabbed as Andrean's best.
The junior quarterback, who was "allowed" his mistakes as a sophomore starter, showed his short memory, his quick thinking and his ability to shake off mistakes in the 59ers' 28-21 sectional title victory over Rensselaer on Friday.
The biggest part of DeSomer growing up and turning his team into a sectional champion was his quickness to forget past plays and move onto the next attack.
After a quick three-and-out to start the fourth quarter, DeSomer made the first tackle on the next series from his safety position, then the second tackle, then broke up a pass seven plays later to try to take Rensselaer out of its scheme.
"Last year I wasn't as good, because I really didn't contribute last year, but I've contributed this year," DeSomer said. "I help out, I guess, but it's really a team effort, because it's all about the team."
The quarterback has also learned to open his mouth a little more. He's paying attention to what he's reading from the defense, reading from the offense and turning that over to the coaching staff.
"Tonight he was just kinda telling me some things he was seeing and he was dead on," coach Phil Mason said. "We went more to a base blocking scheme and let's just pound them and not make any mistakes. You get a feeling for your team when you're calling plays and we just had to settle them down and run the football and don't make any mistakes. Unfortunately we just made some goofy mistakes."
DeSomer threw an interception at the Rensselaer 9-yard line with less than a minute remaining in the first half on 2nd-and-goal. A touchdown there could have changed the momentum of the game, giving the Niners a 21-7 lead at halftime.
He came back and completed one of two passes in the second half as Andrean, which turned the ball over three times in the first half didn't give up the ball in the second half.
"This whole team has grown," Mason said. "I wouldn't say this as an excuse, but we're a young team and we've got to keep getting better at some things. We've gotten better every week, but we've also made some mistakes. We have to minimize those."
Andrean will hit the road and play Cass next week in the regional.
When asked what DeSomer will remember the most from his sectional championship, he quickly said: "Not to make mistakes."
This column solely represents the writer's opinion. Reach her at email@example.com.