5 questions with Tanner Mathias
After a redshirt season as a freshman and standing on the sidelines as a back-up quarterback, Tanner Mathias finally got his shot. And the 2009 Bear River High School grad didn’t disappoint Sierra College coach Jeff Tisdel, who pulled the trigger.
The Wolverines trailed Sac City College 16-3 at halftime, when Tisdel turned to Mathias to take the snaps. Throwing for five second-half touchdowns, the 6-foot, 5-inch signal-caller rallied the Wolverines to a 45-16 victory.
He’s been Sierra College’s QB ever since the incredible Sept. 18 comeback. Sports Editor Brian Hamilton dialed up Mathias this week for five questions (and a story in Tuesday’s edition of The Union):
Q. How tough was it, standing on the sideline, waiting your turn?
A. “It was hard to take at first, but … I knew I’d get a shot eventually. Football is what I do. Everything I do. In high school, you knew your role and were part of a team. At the beginning of this season, my role was to be the back-up quarterback. I did that as well as I could, to be ready when I got that shot.”
Q. Ready? You ran off 42 points in two quarters, throwing for five touchdowns. Could imagine being more ready than that?
A. “There were a few more passes that I probably could have completed and I probably could have read things a little smoother, but I wasn’t going to complain.”
Q. You hear about athletes being in “the zone.” Were you in it?
A. “It felt like the DBs were walking and I was running. Things were slowing down for me. That’s exactly how it went.”
Q. You’re now teammates with Zack Graves, a product of Whitney High, which – (led by Graves’ 183 rushing yards) – was the only Pioneer Valley League team to beat Bear River in your senior season. How’s that working out?
A. “We’re really good friends right now. We’re doing great.”
Q. So, no hard feelings?
A. “At first, it was really weird handing off to Zack, but now it’s the right thing to do.”
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