AUGUSTA — The Cony football team had a lock at quarterback in 2014 in Mitchell Caron, one of the best at the position in the Pine Tree Conference.

There was just one problem.

“We weren’t sure who the backup was,” Rams coach B.L. Lippert said. “Caron was really good … and we weren’t sure if he got hurt, who we were going to. Legitimately, I had no idea.”

This season, Cony didn’t have that surefire starter, but depth was taken care of. And so far, in a season that’s carried loads of promise, it’s already paid off. In sophomore Riley Geyer and junior Dakota Andow, the Rams have not one, but two quarterbacks they can trust to run the show for what appears poised to be one of the strongest teams in the conference.

Having two reliable quarterbacks is often deemed “a good problem to have.” Lippert, however, opted for a different word.

“It’s a nice luxury to have,” he said, “because stuff comes up during a game, whether it’s an injury or someone you need to hop in there. … We’ve had an opportunity to see both guys in tough environments play pretty well.”

Indeed, this season could be a special one for the Rams, and both players have already made contributions to the cause. Geyer, who has started all three games, has finished two and gone a combined 25-for-37 for 410 yards and two touchdowns in those games. Andow came on for an injured Geyer and led Cony back from a 13-0 deficit to a 14-13 win, completing 19 of 31 passes for 239 yards and a touchdown.

“Both have shown that they can function in the offense and run the show,” Lippert said. “It’s reassuring that, if one guy gets hurt, ‘Oh no, we won’t get a first down the rest of the night.’ We don’t feel that way.”

The two have battled for the job since the preseason, but they hardly regard it as a cutthroat competition.

“I’ve been good friends with Dakota since third or fourth grade,” Geyer said. “We’re both pretty good, skill-wise, for the position.”

“We just help each other,” Andow added. “He was my backup in middle school, so I taught him a lot of stuff. He teaches me some stuff I don’t have, so it’s equal.”

The two have ties that go back to their childhoods, both on and off the field. Andow started at quarterback for the middle school team his seventh- and eighth-grade years, while Geyer took over under center in eighth grade. Andow became the starting quarterback for the JV team as a freshman and held the job for two years, while Geyer did the same for the freshman season last year.

All the while, Lippert kept an eye on the two, knowing he had two developing quarterbacks in the system.

“We certainly saw the potential they both had,” he said. “We knew that both were on the way, it was just a matter of seeing who would emerge this year as a starter, and they’ve both done things well.”

The Cony gig is a good one, featuring a chance to play behind a veteran offensive line and operate with talented receivers Matt Wozniak, Reed Hopkins, Chris Sponsler and Dustin Dyer on hand, and Lippert could see that both brought their own traits to the position.

“I think Dakota probably has the better accuracy. He throws a nice football, and he showed that at Biddeford,” he said. “Riley’s got maybe the ideal, kind of prototypical size at quarterback. He’s got a big arm and he can really run around and move pretty well too.”

Despite their different skill sets, Lippert said he doesn’t have to switch up the scheme for each player, making it easier for both quarterbacks to share the load and get equal reps.

“The playbook doesn’t change appreciably with either one,” he said. “I don’t have it scripted, ‘These three plays are for him, these three are for the other one,’ ” he said. “They both can run anything.”

That continued through the preseason until Lippert let Geyer know before the opener against Messalonskee that he was getting the nod.

“I thought Dakota and I both looked pretty good at practice, and I didn’t know what was going to happen,” Geyer said. “Before that Friday night, Coach pulled me into his office and told me I was starting, and I was like ‘Wow!’ I was nervous.”

It hasn’t shown in the results, as Cony is a play or two against Skowhegan from taking a 3-0 record into Week 4. Even so, Lippert — demanding on quarterbacks by his own admission — hasn’t set anything in stone.

“It’s just a matter of who’s playing best at the time and we’ll ride the hot hand,” he said.

As far as the quarterbacks are concerned, that’s just fine.

“At practice, they’ve got to sub in and out for each other and they’re always high-fiving, ‘Hey, you’re up, Coach Lip said three reps,’ ” Lippert said. “They’re always kind of jovial with one another, so it’s not a heated competition where they’re mad at each other.”

Part of the reason is that this isn’t a battle for playing time. If Geyer is the quarterback, Andow plays more defensive back, where he started last Friday. If Andow gets the nod, Geyer plays receiver and defensive back.

“It makes it much easier,” Geyer said. “If I’m playing quarterback he’ll play defense, and he likes them both. And as long as I’m playing, I’m happy.”

Andow feels the same way.

“It seems pretty cool, battling every week, seeing who’s going to start or not,” he said. “It’s fun.”

Drew Bonifant — 621-5638

[email protected]

Twitter: @dbonifantMTM

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