The prep football season is underway, and a pair of high school quarterbacks in Georgia set the tone for what should be another pass-happy fall with two trick plays opponents are still trying to figure out.
We'll start in Lawrenceville, Ga., where Archer High junior QB Will Bearden successfully pulled off a fake punt — exchanging the ball behind his back while avoiding a would-be tackler and reversing field to complete a 10-yard pass in the process —during a fourth-quarter comeback attempt. Bearden's behind-the-back move kept a lineman from forcing a fumble and looked cool in the process.
The referees also provided an assist, since no flag was thrown on what appears to be an illegal pass to an ineligible receiver. At least it didn't decide the game, as Tyrone (Ga.) Sandy Creek prevailed, 21-13.
Meanwhile, in Suwanee, Ga., North Gwinnett senior QB John Urzua turned a wonderfully deceptive fake spike into a game-winning touchdown pass in a 52-49 upset of the state's No. 1 ranked team.
Trailing Powder Springs (Ga.) McEachern, the top-ranked team in Georgia's highest classification, in the final minute of their first game of the season, Urzua completed a pass to Almonzo Brown for a first down at the 9-yard line as time dwindled. The Bulldogs lined up for what appeared a spike to stop the clock, but with nine seconds left Urzua threaded a bullet to Kyler Knudsen for the game-winner.
Hall of Fame quarterback Dan Marino made the fake spike famous during a 28-24 victory against the Jets on Nov. 27, 1994, and Urzua did a fine job recreating the magic. The completion was Urzua's 38th on 48 pass attempts, giving him 498 yards and seven touchdowns through the air. Not a bad start.