Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Local Sports

September 26, 2012

Player of the week

McCann passes to award

TAZEWELL, Va. — Last week was not just a passing fancy.

Out of the run-oriented Wing T offense, Cody McCann set a Tazewell record for passing yards with a 12 completion, four touchdown, no interception, 387-yard effort. Although the Bulldogs fell 50-30 at Giles, McCann’s exceptional effort earned him the Pocahontas Coal Association/Bluefield Daily Telegraph Player of the Week award.

In addition to his passing, he caught a two-point conversion toss from Malik Davis and was in on seven tackles from his defensive end position.

McCann completed five passes to Jalen Jordan for 277 yards and three touchdowns and had a 65-yard scoring pass to Jessee Mountain. Jordan’s total was also easily a THS record for receiving yards.

“This is a great honor — to be player of the week,” said McCann, a 6-2, 195-lb. senior who is one of the team’s four-year members now playing for his fourth different head coach. New mentor Shane Allen, who took over this season after 13 years at Carroll County, is pleased for his honoree.

“Cody is one of those players who spent the winter in the weight room and made himself not only stronger but better,” said Allen. “He kept that up this summer by attending several camps including ones at both West Virginia University and Virginia Tech. He has worked hard and it is nice to see the reward for that effort.”

Assistant Tom Keene observed, “Good protection. Cody had it and then he stepped up and the receivers took care of business. Jalen made some good catches and great runs, and Jessee did, too. Everybody worked together.”

It truly was quite a night, on the road and against a very talented Giles team. After the Spartans rolled up 36 first half points and headed into halftime with half a hundred on the scoreboard, it would have been easy for the Dogs to stay under the porch. McCann and Co. had other ideas.

“Coach (Allen) told us to come out and win the next half and that is exactly what we tried to do,” noted McCann.

Tazewell was able to put 22 of its 30 points on the scoreboard in the fourth quarter. McCann was very busy. In fact, he grinned, “I did ice my arm down a little over the weekend. We really got going in that game.”

McCann become the latest in a long line of THS quarterback to do well, although for many years — including this one — the Dogs have usually been known as a running team. Dating back half a century to Bill Stevenson, moving forward a decade to Bob Brown  and Ernie Yost, and then more recently to John Barnes, Calvin Cockrell, Mike Watkins, Roger Hoops, Steve Hoops, Jimmy King, Jessee Davis, Jeff Lamie, Kon Patterson, Jason Snapp, Drew Barrett, Jake Graham, Josh Thompson, Carr Blankenship, Zack Tester, David Saunders, Matt Muncy, T. J. Rasnick, Cody Lockhart, Tyler Crouse, Malik Davis, and Jacob McReynolds, among others, the Dogs had many good efforts but no numbers like McCann was able to produce.

Yost, in fact, who played on the 1968-69 Tazewell playoff teams, is one of the quarterback coaches for the Bulldogs. According to unofficial records, Lockhart passed for 265 yards in a 2008 game, which was the highest total before Friday night. McCann’s previous

best total was 180 yards in a game against Lebanon in 2010. The Pioneers will host Tazewell this week.

In fact, the team’s other quarterback, Malik Davis, completed the only other Bulldog pass Friday — and he threw it to McCann (who snapped him the ball!) for a two-point conversion after Jordan’s first fourth-quarter score.

“We came out of the ‘muddle huddle’ and I found Cody open. That was fun,” noted Davis, who added, “It was impressive to watch Cody set up in the pocket and connect. As a quarterback or a running back, you always know it starts with the linemen up front and they played a great game.”

The five up-front heroes, other than Jordan and Mountain, who made the record possible, were offensive linemen Nick Goad, Cody Horn, Garrett Jessee.

“That (Giles) game was fun. Cody knows what he is doing,” noted Goad, the center who works in front of McCann on every play.

“If he gets time, he’s going to make a good play. He (McCann) has worked hard in practice and he’s getting a feel for the offense now.” Wright said, “That game was a big turnaround, but we have worked hard enough so that it should have happened, maybe before now. Once we got going, our line was really motivated to buy some more time for Cody, to let him have a chance to make those big plays.”

Horn said, “It’s an honor for us to be mentioned along with the record. Coach Allen and Coach (Shea) Moore work really hard to make our line play better and they care about us and how we matter to this team.”

Jessee commented, “It was an awesome feeling to know that we (linemen) helped to give Cody time to find his receivers and it was great to see them catch the ball and get those touchdowns.”

Rose added, “I think this is the kind of game that helps build that ‘Bulldog Pride’ we have been talking about at school. We really

practiced hard on our pass blocking last week and it paid off. Now we want to work on getting victories as a team.”

McCann agreed, saying, “We have all worked so hard, especially the seniors who have stayed together through new coaches every year of high school. Sometimes it’s been a rugged ride but I think we are  headed in the right direction. Watching the moves Jalen put on to catch those passes and run with them, and seeing Jessee outrun the defense – they made the big plays.  Our whole team came together to make this happen.”

McCann hopes to play college football. If last week is any indication, the rangy, talented passer with an intense desire to make every game better than the last should certainly be able to find a spot at the next level.

 

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