Kason Key's breakout season came in 2010. But his most important season at Owasso was back in 2009, when Key was only a sophomore.
He had just made the leap from freshman ball to varsity, partly because of talent, and partly because the Rams only had one other quarterback on the depth chart.
The plan for Key was simple. Learn the offense behind starter Joe Lindsey, eventually easing his way into a more prominent role.
But there would be no easing.
Days before the season was to begin, Lindsey went down with a broken collarbone in a scrimmage.
With no other options, coach Bill Patterson turned to the sophomore.
“We opened up with Muskogee, Broken Arrow and Jenks, so it wasn't the ideal situation to throw him in,” Patterson said. “That is as rugged as it gets, so he had to be pretty tough mentally to get through.”
And naturally, Key experienced some growing pains. After defeating Muskogee in the opener, the Rams lost to Broken Arrow and Jenks by a combined score of 69-3.
“It was way different than freshman ball, almost shocked me a little at first,” Key said. “But it couldn't be trial and error. I had to step up for my team.”
And Key did step up, leading his team to wins in five of the next six games. The more experience he got, the more confident he became.
By the time Lindsey had recovered from his injury, Patterson was forced to switch him to receiver. Key had solidified the quarterback position.
“There is a real danger there when you throw a sophomore in like that,” Patterson said. “Sometimes you are never the same. You can either benefit from it, or it can crush you. Fortunately for us, he came through it well.”