Future Beaver Vaz stellar in defeat

IT CAME IN a loss. And the bottom line is about winning and losing. Yet watching Cody Vaz's performance this weekend in the CIF Division II state championship game -- a bowl record performance by the future Beaver -- surely warmed the hearts of Oregon State Nation.

The Beavs got a good one in Cody Vaz.

That much was clear in watching Vaz (6-1.5, 200) guide St. Mary's in the title game against Cathedral Catholic on Saturday, a game St. Mary's lost by a 37-34 margin.

Cathedral Catholic running back Tyler Gaffney, likely bound for USC, Stanford or Notre Dame, proved to be too much for St. Mary's defense. He rushed for 329 yards on 33 carries with five touchdowns. But who won or lost this game is not the story for Beaver fans.

There are a ton of things, mental and physical, that go into a successful high school player becoming a good college quarterback. And how Vaz develops, as is the case with every college recruit, after he gets to Corvallis will ultimately determine how good a player he ends up being.

But from a playmaking standpoint, Beaver fans had to be thrilled with what they saw on Saturday from Vaz.

He threw in the pocket, on the run, to the proper shoulder and in the clutch for a California state bowl-record 336 yards. He was 31-of-46 passing with four touchdown passes and no picks.

And every time Cathedral looked like they were ready to open up some breathing room, Vaz seeimingly pulled off another gut check third down conversion.

He also flashed some arm strength -- St. Mary's offense on Saturday featured the short and mid-range passes for the most part, ones that require a precision style. On a few other throws, however, Vaz rifled the pigskin in on a rope. Overall, his accuracy was simply stellar. And Vaz looks like a guy who can make all the throws.

That's worth considering in that Vaz, like so many high schoolers, is nowhere close to what he'll be from a physical maturity standpoint in a few years after he gets into the Oregon State strength program.

But in terms of the tangibles and intangibles of the QB position, he's further along than many. Gaffney, who is a terrific running back, was among those was impressed.

"He's a hell of an athlete," said Gaffney of Vaz in the San Diego Reader after the game. "He gets things done."

Indeed he does. And he'll likely be getting things done in Corvallis in the years to come.

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