Marana running back Bradley Gonzales knew that he was going to be a focal part of the offense this season, but he probably envisioned himself sharing some of those duties with fellow senior Travis Howard. Now with Howard’s season in jeopardy, the senior running back knows a lot of pressure is squarely on his shoulders.
Last year the Tigers had a fairly balanced offensive attack with duel threat quarterback Ben Honea and a deep receiving corps. Gonzales was counted on in the running game, but so were Honea and Colby Cecil among others. Now the Tigers are breaking in a new quarterback and Gonzales will have to take an even bigger role in the offense.
Its not a secret, Bradley is a feature guy,” said Marana Head Coach Andy Litten. “He gives us leadership and confidence. He knows our offense inside and out. We are going to lean heavy on him in terms of blocking, knowing our offense and giving the ball to.”
Up until a week or so ago Howard was thought to be a key part of that plan. Like Gonzales, the big tight end was a three-year varsity standout and a unique player. Considered one of the best tight ends in the state, Howard was going to give whoever winds up as the new Marana quarterback and big target and a safety valve of sorts. If Howard cannot play, an offseason baseball injury is worse than originally expected, then the big running back is even more vital.