The old cliché says that if you have more than one quarterback, you don’t have any.

The old cliché says that if you have more than one quarterback, you don’t have any.


Try telling that to Melissa. And Pottsboro. And Leonard.


All three programs have found success swapping signal-callers in and out of the lineup this season and the approach has them in area round contests this week.


"I think it makes defensive coordinators work harder," Leonard head coach Shane Fletcher said. "I want to make those guys staying up late worrying about it."


Melissa (9-2) faces Argyle (11-0) in a Class 3A Division II Region II match-up at 7:30 p.m. on Friday at Prosper while Pottsboro (10-1) plays Redwater (6-5) in a Class 2A Division I Region II contest at 7 p.m. tonight at Paris and Leonard (8-3) goes up against Blooming Grove (7-4) in a Class 2A Division II Region II game at 7:30 p.m. on Friday at Coppell.


It is a different philosophy from a year ago for the Cardinals. In 2012 both Melissa and Pottsboro won district titles with a familiar face at quarterback. Tanner Frye was a multi-year starter for Pottsboro and Melissa plugged in Chris Smith for his senior year after backing up Wes Queen on the state-title winning squad of 2011.


The preparation for 2013 saw both programs using multiple quarterbacks.


For Pottsboro, the choice between sophomore Zane Pritchett and junior Hunter Mullinex proved to be too close during the off-season and two-a-days. When there was still no separation before District 7-2A (II) action started, the coaches stuck with using both.


"It’s worked out well for our team for sure. There’s games where one has played more than the other because he’s got the hot hand," Pottsboro head coach Matt Poe said. "That’s the situation we’ve gone with. The last couple games it’s been pretty even."


Pottsboro hardly ever changes during a possession, choosing to alternate drives. The starter is determined on both the opponent and the week of practice.


"They’ve both done such a good job. They’ve been very unselfish," Poe said. "Those two are really good friends. I’m sure they both want to play more but they understand what’s best for the team."


The results bear that out since Pottsboro’s only loss this season came against Gunter. Pritchett, who also starts at free safety, and Mullenix have combined to complete 96-of-192 passes for 1,450 yards and 14 touchdowns with 10 interceptions and 1,035 yards and four touchdowns rushing.


"It’s the same offense no matter who the quarterback is," Poe said. "We don’t change the play-calling. It’s nice to have two guys to feel comfortable with."


Pottsboro began the playoffs with a 30-8 victory over Bowie. Both quarterbacks had second-quarter touchdown passes to help open a 24-0 halftime lead.


Melissa faced the same dilemma. It had returning starters at almost all of the skill positions and wanted to get as many athletes on the field as it could to contribute. In order to do that, junior Taylor McGehee and senior Tyler West were going to have to share snaps.


"Both of them are pretty good. We feel like we need to use both of them," Melissa head coach Seth Stinton said. "It makes us dangerous in certain situations. We try to use a bunch of kids, especially the ones that are pretty talented."


Melissa opened the season with a loss to Celina and was beaten by Princeton in 12-3A action but still shared the district title. The total numbers from the spot look just as good as if one player was doing it all. McGehee and West have produced 1,038 yards and 15 touchdowns on the ground with another 2,492 yards passing — both have thrown for at least 1,000 apiece — and 24 touchdowns and eight interceptions.


"I think because we started with it early on, the kids are pretty good about dealing with it," Stinton said. "It was a competition all summer. Neither one of them had taken a grasp of it and run with it."


Melissa started the postseason with a 48-14 win against Dallas Roosevelt to set up a second-round re-match with Argyle. Both quarterbacks threw a pair of touchdown passes and were an extremely efficient 27-of-35 for 373 yards.


While McGehee has started every game except for senior night, the two trade off series without interrupting a drive.


"We’re not going to rush somebody out there. It depends on how the game is going," Stinton said. "Usually it’s two series in a row and then we will switch."


Leonard, whose losses to Community, Gunter and S&S are by a combined 16 points, has been using the two-quarterback system for the past couple of seasons during its playoff resurgence and the Tigers are now trying to get to the third round for the first time since 1986.


"We have packages for everything and it changes every week," Fletcher said. "We’ve been fortunate at quarterback the last couple years. It’s a great problem to have. Some teams wish they had one quarterback."


Senior Justin Bennett shared time the previous two years with Blake Hicks and now is splitting duties with sophomore Ryan Nixon. Since it’s the only system he’s ever known, it hasn’t been anything out of the ordinary for Bennett.


"All he wants is what’s best for the football team. He wants to win," Fletcher said. "And if that means he’s not at quarterback, that’s fine with him."


The Tigers are much more run-oriented in their attack, so down and distance plays something of a factor when choosing a quarterback. Fletcher has no problem making a move in the middle of a drive.


"It’s on feel. They compliment each other very well," he said. "If we’re in a good rhythm I’ll stick with it. But I will change it up if we need to."


The Leonard duo has thrown a total of just 119 passes for 1,088 yards and 10 touchdowns, instead doing damage with 1,079 yards and 22 touchdowns rushing. They also have an impact on defense — Bennett starts at free safety and Nixon is a linebacker.


Leonard opened the playoffs with a 43-36 overtime victory against Edgewood with Nixon throwing a TD pass and Bennett running for three scores, including the game-winner on Leonard first play of the extra session.


"The best game of his career. He’s got a good sense of reading things," Fletcher said. "The last couple of years we’ve been so resilient. They don’t let things get to them. I think that comes from winning."