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Senior Profile: Barajas double trouble to opposing defenses
There are few players in Division IV as explosive as Maxwell High senior quarterback George Barajas.
The Panthers' signal caller is as dangerous through the air as he is on the ground and gives coach Robert Wilson a rare dual threat weapon.
Barajas averages more than 130 yards passing and more than 90 yards rushing a game in the Panthers' spread offense.
"Athletically, it's nice to have a weapon, a guy who can run and throw because it makes it tougher for defenses to cover. We rely a lot on him on both sides of the ball so he's really valuable to us," Wilson said.
This year Barajas' knowledge of the game has improved immensely, Wilson said. He is able to read defenses and make adjustments, even calling audibles when the defense tips its hand.
"We had a play called against Biggs that was supposed to go right up the middle, he saw them blitzing both "A" gaps, he pulled the ball and went 55-yards for a touchdown. Just little things like that he adds to it and it makes it really tough to defend us," Wilson said.
Barajas eclipsed 230 yards passing twice this season and has gone over 100 yards rushing three times, including a 179-yard, four touchdown game against Biggs last week.
Barajas began playing football with the Colusa Cowboys peewee team as a running back but didn't see much playing time, and he didn't play his final season at the midget level.
A Maxwell junior varsity coach noticed Barajas playing quarterback in a flag football game in 7th grade and saw something in him, according to Barajas.
"He told me I was going to be his quarterback in high school. I thought he was just playing around but sure enough, my 8th grade summer he called me and asked me if I wanted to work on quarterback stuff," he said.
Playing quarterback provides a unique challenge on the football field, especially in a passing offense, because so much responsibility falls on their shoulders. A running back might have a bad run if the blocking isn't there but a quarterback can't blame anyone if their throw is off the mark, Barajas said.
In two years with him at quarterback, the Panthers record is 14-6. With the help of a solid line, sure-handed receivers, powerful running backs and a steadily improving defense, the Panthers are looking forward to the playoffs and, if they take care of business, another shot at Portola.
The Tigers knocked Maxwell out of the playoffs last season and rallied in the second half on the Panthers' homecoming to win 27-21 this year. Portola is undefeated and the top seed in Division IV.
"We're hoping Portola beats Chester so we can stay in the second seed, and play Portola in (the section championship) and get payback for last year," Barajas said.
After high school Barajas wants to continue playing football. Until last year, he wanted to join the military but several colleges have expressed interest in his football acumen so he is looking into continuing his education and playing career.
CONTACT Kirk Barron at 458-2121 or kbarron@tcnpress.