Photo by Jeff Yoder
Your Prep Sports
IOWA CITY – Like so many players at Regina during the Regals’ historic decade-long string of success Kieler Brown had to wait his turn for an opportunity at a starting spot.
One of the things Brown learned during his time waiting is to be ready when that opportunity presents itself.
That lesson has served Brown well this season.
After a senior season that has seen the 5-foot-8 Brown shift all over the field on offense he has settled in as the Regals lead running back.
Brown has posed the best two games of his career in back-to-back outings, rushing for a career-high 113 yards in a 42-22 win over Jesup on Friday.
“You have to just be ready to go in where ever you need to,” Brown said. “I’ve been put at slot, I was at wideout for a week, stuff that I haven’t done at all but you have to be ready to play anywhere.”
Brown spent time at running back, receiver and in the slot during the six games of the season.
He rushed for 182 yards and a touchdown and caught 11 passes for 163 yards during that span as Regina used three different starting quarterbacks.
With sophomore quarterback Ashton Cook back from injury and backup quarterbacks Bryce Barnett and Scott Arendt back to receiver Brown has taken over at running back.
Brown has excelled in the spot.
“It has kind of been a committee deal and Kieler has just done a great job out of the backfield running the ball,” Regina coach Marv Cook said. “He’s always been a great change of pace guy but he’s been getting 20 or 25 carries and been stepping up.”
Brown rushed for 97 yards and a touchdown on a career-high 25 carries in a win over North Linn.
He followed that up with 113 yards on 20 carries last week against Jesup.
“The lineman were blocking super well, it was more on them, I just felt like I was running in a straight line with things opening up for me,” Brown said. “Those guys played a great game.”
The time as a pass catcher has served Brown well in his role at running back.
In his two games as the Regals’ lead back Brown has caught six passes for 86 and a touchdown.
He scored on a 47-yard screen pass last week against Jesup while he accounted for 180 total yards.
“It’s a lot hard to prepare for someone that you can’t just defend against the run on,” Brown said. “I like to try to get matchups against linebackers and use my quickness to get open.”
Brown leads Regina (5-3) with 392 rushing yards and is fourth on the team with 17 receptions for 249 yards and a touchdown entering Friday’s meeting with top-ranked Dike-New Hartford
“He is a really good route runner,” Cook said. “He has that awareness, he knows how to leverage guys and he has a little change of pace to him.”
In addition to his offensive versatility Brown has been a key defenses player for Regina this season ranking fifth on the team with 23.5 tackles including 22 solo stops and leads the Regals averaging 17.4 yards per kick off return.
None of that has been the most important item that Brown has brought to the team this season.
“As good as he’s been on the field he has probably been a better leader and he has been really, really good on the football field,” Cook said. “He has been a great leader for this group helping with our young guys and he has stepped up and really taken on that responsibility so I have been very, very impressed with him.”