Clicking: Anderson, Rideau tandem make Rams passing threat
Published 10:00 am Thursday, September 21, 2023
One is a junior who has grown into his role as Westlake’s big-play wide receiver. The other is a freshman quarterback who is playing beyond his years.
Together, Kevin Rideau and Brody Anderson have emerged as one of the best aerial duos in Southwest Louisiana and the state.
Through three weeks, the pair have guided the Rams to a 3-0 record. Both rank in the top 15 in the state statistical categories.
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“It is exciting about the future because I only think they are going to get better,” Westlake head coach John Richardson said. “I think we are just starting to see the beginning of it. As they get to know each other a little better.”
Rideau, a 6-foot-3, 165-pound two-sport athlete, started four games last season under center before moving full-time to wide receiver in Week 8. He caught six passes for 71 yards as a sophomore. Now, he is the top receiver in the state through three weeks with 18 catches for 474 yards and seven touchdowns.
“I just feel like it is my spot,” Rideau said. “I feel more comfortable catching the ball now.
“I feel like I am a big target, and (Anderson) can depend on me to catch the ball. What I like about playing receiver is catching the ball and knowing where to be because I played quarterback.”
Anderson (6-1, 170) is ranked seventh in the state with 732 passing yards. He has completed 62 percent of his passes (33 for 53) with 10 touchdowns and no interceptions.
His father Brent Anderson was a tight end/offensive lineman at McNeese State (1997-2000) and a former all-state tight end for the Rams.
“It is a pretty big adjustment,” Anderson said of moving from junior high to starting at the varsity level. “It feels good. We are learning plays and working together.
“We have a great connection. (Rideau) is a great player. He runs his routes hard, and he is open almost every time. We have a good group this year, and we are going to get better.”
The pair have created several explosive plays with at least one touchdown 50 yards or longer each game. In a 40-7 win over DeQuincy in Week 1, they connected on scoring plays of 64, 53 and 71 yards.
“There have been a lot of big plays between those two,” Richardson said. “A lot of shorter throws, long runs and breaking tackles.
“There have been some down the field, too. Things will get rougher as the competition gets better. Some of these big plays are going to have to be smaller plays that are stacked on top of each other.”
Rideau is averaging 26.3 yards per catch and 158 per game.
“It is like (Rideau) has come out of his shell,” Richardson said. “I actually talked to his mom about this earlier. We have to get him out of his shell, and he is getting there. He is still not to full potential, in my opinion, but he is definitely on the right track.”
Anderson threw four touchdown passes in back-to-back games to start his varsity career.
“We felt like he would be a special player,” Richardson said. “We felt like he would be the starter right off.
“Now he has actually exceeded expectations. He is very mature for his age and can handle the offense. Every day he goes out there, he just gets better and better.
“In all the years I have been coaching, he is probably the most poised freshman that I have ever had at that position. He doesn’t play like a freshman. He plays like a guy that is a sophomore or junior.”