Following two somewhat underwhelming performances to begin the prep football season, Mission Prep quarterback Bryce Fledderman reminded fans he’s still one of the top players at his position in the Northern League.
At 6-foot-4 and 210 pounds, Fledderman has shown he’s plenty capable of leading a Royals team that’s off to a 3-0 start this fall. During Mission Prep’s 36-20 victory over visiting St. Anthony on Friday night, the junior standout passed for 295 yards and three touchdowns.
Fledderman was calm in the pocket — despite getting sacked seven times — and seemed to break out of an early season funk. In the Royals’ first two games combined, Fledderman passed for 178 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions.
“I think he has a tendency sometimes to put a little bit too much pressure on himself,” Mission Prep coach Chad Henry said. “We’ve really this last couple weeks just focused on him relaxing and coming out and playing football.”
Coming off a sophomore season in which he passed for nearly 1,700 yards and 15 touchdowns, a lot was expected of Fledderman and the Royals offense in 2015. Friday’s performance may have been a glimpse of what’s to come for the young quarterback.
Passing for 295 yards was the second-highest single-game total of his career, trailing only his 328-yard performance in a loss to Templeton last October. It also was the fourth time Fledderman has passed for three touchdowns in one game.
“All the work that we put in through the offseason is really starting to show,” said Fledderman, a second-team all-Northern League selection in 2014. “Our run game was really strong the first two games and our pass game is finally starting to come along. We’re starting to really balance up.”
The Royals leaned heavily on junior running back Brayden Corona during their first two wins against Rio Hondo Prep and Crean Lutheran. The speedy junior has rushed for more than 100 yards in each game this season, totaling 492 yards and a team-high seven touchdowns.
Coupled with a trio of talented receivers in Patrick Miller, Matthew Simmons and Angel Simmons, it’s clear Fledderman has options at his disposal.
“Even last game they were more reliant on me at times and I wasn’t able to completely perform at the level that I can,” Fledderman said. “But this game we just came out and the guys around me picked me up. Angel, Pat picked me up on a few plays that weren’t the best throws but they made a great play and then made yards after the catch.
“That just gives me so much confidence to know that they’re there and that our passing game is finally coming along.”
Miller (82 yards), Simmons (28 yards) and Sanchez (13 yards) all had touchdown receptions in the first half against St. Anthony. The trio combined for 10 catches for 272 yards, which was a welcome addition to what had been a somewhat one-dimensional offense.
Henry said he was particularly pleased to see Sanchez, a 5-10, 155-pound junior, overcome an early a drop to finish with more than 100 yards receiving.
“I’m really excited about this group,” Henry added. “I think we’re getting better each week and if we can get that balance like we had (Friday) we’re going to be tough.”