MUSTANG — Typically, when a team makes a quarterback change in the first four weeks of the season when there's no injury involved, it's probably not a good thing.
Consider Mustang the exception to the rule.
The Broncos (3-1 overall, 1-0 District 6A-4) of first-year coach Jeremy Dombek have been tinkering with some backfield shuffling, and pulled the trigger for good on Friday night, resulting in a 34-14 upset of Norman (2-2, 0-1).
Dombek inserted Chandler Garrett, a 6-foot-5 sophomore with a good arm, at quarterback and shifted Frankie Edwards to running back/slot receiver, a move that could improve the Broncos' offense both with the pass and the run.
“This is something that's been in the works, not just for this week,” Dombek said. “We didn't think Chandler was quite ready at the start of the year. There wasn't anything Frankie did to not play quarterback. This was just about getting the best 11 guys on the field.”
With the depth of District 6A-4, a team needs every edge, and that's what the Broncos were looking for.
The state's eastside schools still claim the most dominant teams, but the west's 6A-4 is by far the deepest district in the class. Edmond Santa Fe, Lawton, Southmoore and Norman have all been ranked in the top 10 at some point this season, while Mustang and Edmond Memorial each have teams taking notice with impressive performances in the early weeks.
And with the tangible improvements that have been made at Choctaw and Putnam City West, those teams are no longer the cupcakes they once were.
So every win matters, and Mustang got an important one Friday.
The backfield shuffling paid off quickly, with Garrett completing 14 of 15 passes for 184 yards and four touchdowns. Edwards, who played quarterback, running back and slot receiver, had six receptions for a team-high 86 yards and two touchdowns, while rushing for 36 yards and throwing for 49.
“Frankie's definitely the best guy on our team with the ball in his hands,” Dombek said. “Having played quarterback, he knows every position on the field, so we can put him in a lot of different places.”
The Mustang defense took yet another step forward as well, holding its fourth consecutive opponent under 100 rushing yards.
“That's our philosophy,” Dombek said. “We want to make teams one-dimensional.”
But with fourth-ranked Edmond Santa Fe — a team that hasn't lost a district game since Week 10 of the 2010 season — waiting for a Thursday night showdown at Central Oklahoma's Wantland Stadium, the challenge is only beginning.
“In this district, it's a challenge every week,” Dombek said. “It doesn't get any easier. We were fortunate to get a win against a great team on Friday. Now that's over, and we have to go against a two-time defending district champion that hasn't lost a district game in 15 tries.
“We're looking forward to it, and we'll go give it our best shot.”