Battle of gunslingers in Tri-Valley vs. Sheridan


Ethan Heller and Luke Fargus can provide plenty of bombs throughout any game, but who will best the other this Friday night?

By Nick McWilliams, Sports Director

High school quarterbacks who can really sling it are a sight to behold.

Most teams depend on an offense based around running quarterbacks, bubble screens, option plays and the occasional slant route, with the success rate of deep passes at a percentage almost as low as pulling off a well executed hook-and-ladder.

Sheridan and Tri-Valley are not like other teams.

Boasting the likes of Ethan Heller and Luke Fargus, respectively, the Generals and the Scotties will still hurt you on the ground, but will light you up through the air. It’s what the duo of seniors have been doing all season long.

And Friday night, fans get to see both of them in head-to-head action.

Heller holds a better stat line, going 63-for-84 for 1,304 yards and 15 touchdowns with just three interceptions this season. Fargus is not far behind at 58-for-92 for 1009 yards and 13 touchdowns to just two picks.

While the Scotties have used backup quarterback Aiden Fritter at times for situations more favorable to the mobile sophomore, Heller has been the main man running the show in Thornville. But both provide a similar air attack that will awe any crowd.

Fargus dropped 50-yard dimes in practice with the flick of his wrist while preparing to face Philo, while Heller’s improvisation and mobility in the pocket opens up plenty of opportunities down the field. But both possess the ability to light up the scoreboard.

“Luke and Aiden Fritter, our other quarterback, have done a pretty good job,” said Tri-Valley coach Kevin Fell prior to Week 3. “So we’ve got two quarterbacks who we think can step in there and play.”

While both Fargus and Fritter have earned playing time, it’s Fargus who is the unquestioned passing leader for the Scotties. Averaging over 160 yards and two touchdowns through the air, there are few quarterbacks who measure up to his level in the area.

That is, until you watch Heller take a few deep shots.

While Fargus can manage a game well and pinpoint a deep pass when he needs to, Heller has the kind of home-run potential coaches dream of. The ability to throw over double coverage between the hashmarks into his receivers outstretched arms or fire a strike into the chest of a tight end settling into a soft area of the defensive zone, there are few, if any, who match Heller in his arm talent.

Sheridan coach Paul Culver III laughed off the notion his quarterback is the best in the area, but was not shy about pouring on the praise for his senior.

“There’s no harder worker anywhere around,” he said after practice Wednesday. “There’s no more committed teammate and senior leader anywhere around. And quite frankly, I don’t think it’s close. Not dogging on other kids, I’ve just done this for a long time, and he is as elite as it gets.”

Heller and Fargus will be fun to watch all night, no matter which one puts a crooked number on the scoreboard. But don’t expect this game to go by fast.

Even though both sides possess more than capable rushing attacks, this one will be won through the air.