Before the 2014 high school football season started there was no guarantee that Fayetteville sophomore quarterback Taylor Powell was going to get his shot to lead the Purple Bulldogs this season.
But not only did Powell (6-1, 190) get his chance, but with his best game of the season coming last Friday, Powell has helped lead his team into the state championship.
Fayetteville (11-2) will take on Bentonville (8-4) Saturday at noon in the Class 7A state title game at Little Rock’s War Memorial Stadium.
“Taylor certainly started out the season playing like a typical sophomore, but he has gotten better and better as the season has gone along and was at his finest last week,” Purple Bulldogs head coach Darryl Patton said. “Because he has done that, he has become only the fifth sophomore quarterback in the state’s largest classification to lead his team to a state final.”
He'll go against one of those other five - Bentonville junior Kasey Ford (6-5, 240).
Powell, who was 20-of-22 for 219 yards and three touchdowns in last Friday’s 56-14 win over Fort Smith Southside, has passed for over 2,000 yards and 19 touchdowns this season with just six interceptions.
Ironically his and the team’s toughest game came against Bentonville, a 45-2 bashing back on Nov. 7.
“He had a really tough game against Bentonville, but he has come back with three of his best of the year since that time,” Patton said. “I think his performance in those games and the improvement he is going to make in the off-season is going to make him a very high-profile prospect next season.”
It has certainly helped Powell that he has several weapons to work with on offense, including a pair of Razorback commitments in tight end C.J. O’ Grady (6-5, 230) and Dre Greenlaw (6-1, 220).
Greenlaw, who plays safety and linebacker for Fayetteville and projects to that in college, has been seeing more time on offense lately.
“I kept saying to our coaches that Dre is a big play guy and is not going to be around for much longer so we better get him involved on offense,” Patton said. “Since we have, he is scoring about 1 of 3 touches.
“C.J., well, he is just a one of a kind player that is just a special, special kid,” Patton said. “His numbers aren’t as great as they were last year although they are still good, but he draws so much attention that it frees up others to make big plays.”
Patton says that Powell is smart of enough to know where to go with the ball.
“He really is a smart kid that knows how to get the ball in the hands of the people who can make plays for him,” Powell said. “He’s good and he’s going to grow and become a big-time player for us.”
Powell Primed For Big Stage
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