WINTERSVILLE - Big-time players make big-time plays. Alex Young has been doing it all year.
Last Friday at Kettlewell Memorial Stadium, the Indian Creek senior did it again.
He threw for 139 yards and three touchdowns. He ran for a 2-point conversion that counted. He ran another one in that didn't (although a replay in the press box clearly showed Young crossing the plane).
Alex Young and Indian Creek stand 7-1 and in fourth place in Ohio Division III, Region 11.
File Photo by Seth Staskey
So with Harrison Central driving for the game-winning score, was there anybody wearing red and yellow not expecting Young to come up big?
With less than a minute remaining, Young picked off Harrison Central quarterback Rashaen Mitchell and took it 96 yards the other way, sealing a victory for the Redskins as they improved to 7-1 and climbed to No. 4 in the Ohio Division IV, Region 11 rankings.
''It was just a moment play, it was crazy,'' Young said. ''I knew they were going to do a switch route so I just tried to get to the ball the best that I could.''
With a talented group of players in Shane Winland, Montell McClelland, Blake Roar, Logan Woods, Tran Huynh, and the list goes on and on, Indian Creek is poised to not just make the playoffs, but make some noise once it gets there.
But even with that stellar supporting cast, Young is the straw that stirs the Indian Creek drink.
Last season, Young was a wideout catching passes from David Kemp. He was eased in along the way, something almost automatic considering Coach Andrew Connor's tendency to constantly switch his formations. One minute Young can be lined up in the wishbone, only to go five-wide on the next play.
''The one thing he wanted to be was an all-around quarterback,'' Connor said. ''He knew he just couldn't take off and run. He has to be able to run our offense, get everyone lined up and let them know what they are supposed to do. Then get the reads, when to hold the ball, when to give the ball, when to throw the ball.
''I think what's happened is you are seeing the maturity of a kid who has grown into the position. You keep watching him every week make the big throws and make the big runs. It seems like even if he doesn't get off to a real fast start, he doesn't get out of his comfort zone. You will never know if it was a good play or bad play when Alex comes out of the game and that is a credit to him that keeps a level head. He has really mastered that well.''
And despite just one season under center, Young is already making a name for himself in the school record book.
Three weeks ago in a victory against Union Local, Young became the first player in school history to record more than 100 yards passing (135), rushing (131) and return yardage (102).
''It's everything he has done,'' Connor said. ''He has taken a kickoff back, a punt back, an interception back. The plays he makes in space and, after the interception, you see 10 guys running alongside him to go block. That says a lot about our kids and they want each other to do well.''
Added Young: ''It means a lot and it's very special to be the first one to do that. But I have to thank everyone that helped me. Without the line, I wouldn't be able to run and without my wide receivers, I wouldn't be able to pass.''
He has 11 touchdowns this season. Oh, he also has 13 PATs and a field goal.
''We are confident but not overly confident,'' Young said. ''I've grown a lot since the beginning of the year and my teammates have helped me a lot and helped me ease into this role. I have grown in every aspect of my game and that is a credit to the coaches and my teammates for helping me out.
''We have to focus on turnovers and mental breakdowns and just get after it in the first quarter.''
Good Hands Team
(Weekend wrap only includes teams that called or emailed their stats on Sunday).