All were attributes Kolar would need when the Timberwolves squared off against Yukon in a vital Week 5 district game. Punting just before halftime from the quick-kick formation, Cornwell took a hit when the ball was partially blocked. He scrambled to recover it and came up limping. By the time he made it to the sideline and collapsed into his teammates’ arms, it was clear that Cornwell was done for the season. Given just 20 minutes at halftime to prepare, Kolar tried to calm his nerves as he stepped in for the biggest moment of his career.
It didn’t work. He called the first series he led, one where the T-Wolves went three-and-out, the most nervous he’s ever been. Yukon grabbed a lead in the third quarter and appeared on its way to a win and control of District 6A-3.
But Kolar wasn’t done. He settled into the offense and began to lead his team back into the game. It began with a deep pass to senior Nick Basquine, and by the time the Timberwolves scored their first touchdown of the half, Kolar knew they could come back to win the game.
Trailing by two touchdowns entering the fourth quarter, it was a tall task. But with Kolar under center, the Timberwolves did just that, winning the game on a Jake Edzards’ field goal as time expired.
“At first I was thinking, ‘if I lose this game, what are people going to say? They’re going to think that we were in trouble now that I was at quarterback,’” Kolar said. “But once we scored that first touchdown I started to get more comfortable, and we all kind of said ‘we can do this.’”
That performance was just the beginning for Kolar, who led the Timberwolves to a 4-1 record and the District 6A-3 championship since he took over starting duties. He’s passed for more than 1,300 yards while throwing for 12 touchdowns and just a pair of interceptions. As dangerous with his feet as he is with his arm, he’s also opened up a new element for North’s offense, providing a dynamic and unpredictable combination with running back Quan Hogan.