Often a quarterback in a run heavy offense isn’t expected to do much more than be a game manager.
Carson Rinkenberger proved that he is much more than that in Atascadero High’s 46-0 win over San Luis Obispo. Listed at 6-foot-2 and 185 pounds, Rinkenberger was 10 for 11 for 213 yards through the air, with 100 of those yards going to Tysen Delkener. The Greyhounds doubled their season average of 71.9 yards passing midway through the first quarter.
Entering Friday night’s game, the junior quarterback had thrown for four touchdowns and 319 yards.
He threw three touchdowns in the first half Friday, one to RJ Reusche, another to battery mate Elijah Cooks and a 55-yard toss to Delkener.
Rinkenberger credited his success Friday night to the offensive line.
“There was a lot of blocking up front, I had plenty of time. They definitely picked up all the blitzes well. They definitely played really well this game,” he said.
He also talked about his growing confidence and chemistry with receivers, which was on display on the throw to Delkener, which opened the Greyhound lead to 14-0 late in the first quarter.
“They’ve been telling me all year that the post is wide open on that,” Rinkenberger said, “And I’ve just been scared to hit it. I told (Delkener) before the game ‘Hey I’m going to hit you in the post. It’s going to happen.’ ”
Atascadero is known for their potent run game, behind Reusche, who had one score on the ground, and Marc Martin, who also had a pair of rushing touchdowns. The Tigers schemed to try to slow the tandem by sending eight men to the line of scrimmage.
“When you run the ball as much as we do, a lot of teams are going to pack the box and they’re gonna put some extra guys down there for the running game,” Atascadero coach Vic Cooper said. “They’re going to leave your receivers single covered on the outside. You have to make plays there — if you don’t it’s going to be really hard to run the ball.”
The Greyhounds found balance against San Luis Obispo, with 228 yards through the air and 208 on the ground.
“I think we were looking for some consistency,” Cooper said, “And I think we got that for the most part tonight.”
Consistency is something that San Luis Obispo struggled with. Omeed Djassemi connected with Delvon Jack for a 47 yard completion late in the fourth, showing what the Tiger offense could do. The Tigers also had success on the ground, with running back Pierson Mosichuk totaling 98 yards rushing.
Atascadero (7-1) faces a test next week against Arroyo Grande in a game that will likely decide the PAC 5. The two teams are 2-0 in league play.
San Luis Obispo (2-7, 0-3) has a bye next week, before playing Arroyo Grande on Nov. 6.