Younger Flacco’s debut was more mixed than Joe’s

Cameron Smith
Prep Rally

On Sunday, quarterback Joe Flacco and the Ravens tore apart the Steelers in one of the more surprising results from the NFL's opening weekend. Must have been a perfect weekend for the Flacco family, right? Well, not exactly. That's because another Flacco quarterback had a less positive result in his 2011 debut behind center, despite some auspicious stats that could bode well for his future.

Vorhees Eastern quarterback Tom Flacco
Vorhees Eastern quarterback Tom Flacco

As reported by the, Vorhees (N.J.) Eastern High fell to Williamstown (N.J.) High, 34-13, on Friday night in a season opener for both teams. As chronicled by the Philadelphia Inquirer, one of the key players making his first start for the Eastern Vikings in the game was one Tom Flacco, a sophomore quarterback.

The younger Flacco's transition to starting quarterback for Eastern High's 2011 opening day was less smooth than his older brother, who is entering his third season as Baltimore's primary quarterback. After finding some time on the field at the end of his freshman year at Camden (N.J.) Catholic School, Flacco transferred to Eastern when his parents moved to Vorhees over the summer.

While a starting spot was never a guarantee at Eastern for Tom Flacco, the budding passer quickly staked a claim on the position, earning split snaps with returning Eastern starting quarterback Anthony Gallo.

Still, Eastern offensive coordinator Rick Brown said that Flacco never shied from the competition, a factor which the assistant coach attributed to his genetic makeup.

"With his four brothers, there is pressure when they have a Wiffle Ball game," Brown told the Inquirer. "Tom is a competitor like the rest of them."

That split time may not continue that much longer after Flacco's performance in his team's season opener on Friday. First, the young quarterback broke through for his team's first touchdown of the season, scampering 45 yards on a quarterback keeper in the first quarter. At the time, the score cut Williamstown's lead to 7-6.

Later, Flacco threw his first touchdown pass as a Viking, connecting on a 55-yarder to wide receiver Tyrone Thompson.

While the loss was an undoubted setback for the team, the younger Flacco sounds plenty confident that he can follow in the footsteps of two of his other brothers, Joe and the lesser-publicized Flacco sibling, Mike, who was a high school quarterback before joining the Baltimore Orioles minor league system (the third Flacco brother, Brian, was a baseball star at Audubon (N.J.) High) … even if he has more learning still to come.

"Growing up, because of my brothers, I was always playing against older guys, and I think that really helped me," Tom Flacco told the Inquirer. ...

"I have a lot I have to work on."

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