MT. VERNON —
“Learning the assignments, like who you block, how to line up. At first I had difficulty coming off the ball. It was just different,” Gardner said.
As the weeks went by, Gardner grew more accustom and comfortable with his new role on the team. He also began to develop a rhythm with first-year quarterback Dylan Reeves. The two have connected on a pair of touchdowns. The longest score was a 37-yard strike to seal the victory at Mascoutah. His longest catch of the season went for 43 yards at Rochester. Gardner also has the size and versatility to be a possession-style receiver, grabbing passes for short gains that get the Rams first downs.
“He can go out and catch a ball, even if you're on him,” Shaner said. “He can be physical and catch a ball. He has just enough speed where he can also, if you're being lazy on defense or if you bite up on something, he can run by you enough to get himself open.”
Gardner leads the team with 16 catches for 235 yards after four games. He and the rest of the Rams are 3-1 and host Marion on Friday.