By PHIL BRODSKY
Orange Live Sports Writer
Tyler Burns is only a 5-foot 8-inch, 140 pound sophomore but he has already become a valuable member of the Amity football team. In his role as quarterback, he has completed nine of 20 passes for a140 yards and three interceptions. As both a quarterback and wingback he has carried the ball 26 times for 146 yards (6.37 yards per carry) and two touchdowns. In his sometime role as wide receiver, he has caught 13 passes for 99 yards. As if his offensive contributions aren’t enough, he is also a defensive back who has made 16 tackles, one fumble recovery, and picked off three passes. On top of all that, he has returned three punts (37 yards) and 12 kickoffs (214 yards and a touchdown).
By his own admission, Burns never expected to see this much varsity action. Last year he was a freshman quarterback, wide receiver, and defensive back. Earlier this fall he quarterbacked three junior varsity games.
“No, I didn’t expect to play this much varsity football, but I do whatever our coaches want me to do. They have given me a lot of opportunities to show myself,” Burns said. “I’ll play any and all positions they ask me to play—whatever it takes to help our team.”
At the start of the season, senior Co-Captain James Semmonella was the Spartans’ starting signal caller but he suffered a concussion in a game against Shelton and Burns has been his primary replacement since that time. Admitting that he lacked any prior varsity experience as QB, Burns said, “In practice, James has helped me reading keys and working on my steps.”
Head Coach Burt Mozealous acknowledged that Burns has been a valuable contributor to the varsity team but also added, “While I expected Tyler to play this much at several different positions, I also know he’s not James and he can’t do things that James can do. Up to now, Tyler has been relying on his raw, natural ability and he’s been practicing at different positions, including quarterback. Our offense is quite complicated with several different looks. When James went down and Tyler stepped in as our quarterback, we knew that he was only a sophomore and we had to simply our play calls for him.”
As for his Burns biggest assets, Mozealous said, “He has great feet and vision. He can see the entire field.”
With a big grin, he added, “The best thing about Tyler is that he is only a sophomore. We’ve only seen the tip of the iceberg with him.”