As the fourth quarter began, Gatesville was down 19-17 on the road at No. 1 Cameron Yoe. The Yoemen had just rallied from a 14-0 deficit and seemed to have all the momentum on their home field. What happened over the next 12 minutes — epic as it was under those Friday night lights — came as no surprise to Gatesville coach Kyle Cooper. What his quarterback showed during that final quarter was merely the essence of who he is personified on the gridiron. Jett was just being Jett.
“He had that ‘get on my shoulder’ mentality,” Cooper said. “He just took over the game.”
Jett Truss went to work in that fourth quarter. The quarterback scored from seven yards out two minutes into the final frame to regain the lead for the Hornets. After Cameron Yoe scored with seven minutes to play, Truss refused to give up once again. This time, he ran the ball in from 10 yards out which ended up giving the Hornets the lead for good.
“He and our offensive line were huge,” Cooper said. “He got behind our big hogs and took the brunt of our carries to grind out the clock.”
Truss’ mentality is something he’s had long before he stepped under center. As a sophomore, Truss started on varsity for Gatesville. But on the defensive side.
“The mentality that allows a kid to play well defensively has helped him at quarterback,” Cooper said. “He has the mentality that he’s going to get after it. That’s why he’s so special as a quarterback. It’s just a fact. He’s going to get the tough yards. He has a fight that never dies. He’s relentless.”
Truss got his first varsity snaps that varsity season when Gatesville’s starter suffered an injury the ninth game of the year. He played the rest of that game and the final district game of the season as the Hornet’s quarterback. Once the playoffs began, the starter was healthy again and Truss went back to the defensive side of the ball.
A year later as a junior, Truss got his first true start at quarterback. He finished that 2016 campaign with 1,236 passing yards, 823 rushing yards and 27 total touchdowns.
“When you hear dual threat, most people think of a small, shifty, explosive type of a runner,” Cooper said. “That’s not necessarily him. He’s got more Tim Tebow in him. He’s a downhill, power type of guy. He’s an extremely hard runner. He’s over 200 pounds. He’s relentless.”
It’s not so much about that stats for Cooper. He wants to see his starting quarterback come out and command the offense, be a “big thunder back” in the backfield, take care of the football and spread the wealth around to the Hornet playmakers.
He’s definitely seen all of that from Truss so far, especially when the quarterback took over in the thriller on the road at Cameron Yoe. And there’s no doubt Cooper will see even more as the season continues.
“He’s a competitor,” Cooper said. “That’s the best way to describe him. He’s always a competitor. He’s one of those guys who just loves to play. He’s a guy who wants to compete all the time.”