By any name, St. Vincent’s Brown is very good

Conor Brown dives for some yardage on Saturday for St. Vincent's. (Crista Jeremiason / PD).

There was some confusion surrounding the St. Vincent quarterback position on Saturday.

Conor Brown was the guy, but his No. 16 jersey read WILLIAMS across the shoulders. It wasn’t subterfuge by coach Gary Galloway, just an imperfect solution to some of the Mustangs’ uniforms arriving late for the season opener.

Something else may have confused the Tomales Braves at Yarbrough Field. This was supposed to be a dreaded rebuilding year for St. Vincent, especially at quarterback, but Brown looked pretty darn good. He completed 7 of 12 passes for 162 yards and four touchdowns, and ran for another 58 yards on eight carries.

If this was the NFL, Brown would have had a rating of 142.4.

The senior wasn’t perfect. He threw behind a couple receivers, and his pitch to Aziz Atallah in the fourth quarter was off the mark, resulting in a turnover.

But the Mustangs must be feeling quite pleased with Brown in his first year as Josh Wheless’ successor. Wheless was first-team All-NCL I South in 2009 after passing for 1,375 yards and 17 touchdowns. Heck, he even drew baseball legend and family friend Willie Mays to St. Vincent’s NCS Division V championship loss.

But Brown, to this point known more for his golfing prowess than his quarterbacking, may prove to be a capable replacement.

“He throws the ball well, and he’s faster (than Wheless),” Galloway said Saturday after the victory over Tomales. “Hopefully he doesn’t have to take a lot of hits. But he’s very quick, he makes good reads. But he worked very hard over the summer. You don’t pick that up these four weeks we’ve been playing football.”

Of course, Brown has one big advantage. He throws to senior Michael Meiswinkel, the Mustangs’ hard-running receiver. Meiswinkel was 3-for-3 against the Braves on Saturday – three catches, three touchdowns – before bruising his left shoulder. He goes strong to the ball, and he’s hard to bring down after the catch.

“He’s just tenacious,” Galloway said. “He’s a competitor. If you watch him play basketball – which he’d probably tell you is his No. 1 sport – he wants it. He’s a competitor, he doesn’t like to lose and he’s got great instincts. Those are things you can’t coach.”

Watch out for Brown-to-Meiswinkel. It could be one of the best small-school connections in the Redwood Empire this year.