Standing on the turf at Carl Albert on Friday night, after the Titans dismantled Del City 34-12 in the first round of the Class 5A playoffs, I sought for a superlative that I hadn't yet used to describe Titan quarterback Stevie Thompson's play, particularly in postseason games.
Out of ideas, I asked Carl Albert coach Gary Rose. And as he often does, he offered the perfect words.
“He's just a stud,” Rose said. Hard to argue with that, after Thompson had his fifth consecutive postseason game with at least 186 rushing yards, dating back to the first round last year.
“He's just a stinkin' football player,” Rose added.
Oklahoma's Year of the Quarterback got off to quite a start with the nationally recruited duo of David Cornwell and Justice Hansen. But by the end of Week 7, the Year of the QB was on injured reserve.
But then, Thompson reminds us that he hasn't gone anywhere.
Neither has Broken Arrow's Coleman Key, or Bishop McGuinness' Jacob Lewis, or a dozen other quarterbacks.
Injuries might have taken down the top two blue-chip recruits, but the quarterback play around the state is still lighting up scoreboards.
Thompson and his Titans will take on another talented QB when they visit McAlester this week. Dalton Wood, a junior, has missed a few games with injuries, but is still averaging more than 200 passing yards per game, while rushing for 122. And the Buffs have scored 70-plus in two straight games.
Key, a Colorado State commit, faces an interesting QB counterpart when Broken Arrow travels to Mustang on Friday night. The Broncos are led by sophomore Chandler Garrett.
You've probably read about him over the last few weeks since he was inserted into the starting role in midseason. And the most loyal of Oklahoman readers might know a little more about him — even if they don't immediately recall it.
Our Jenni Carlson told you about Garrett 3 1/2 years ago, when he was a skinny sixth-grader living in Checotah, then competing in the Steve Clarkson Dreammaker Tour, a multi-city talent search that was the youth quarterback version of “American Idol.”
Since Garrett moved into the starting role, former QB Frankie Edwards has flourished as a running back. And Garrett hasn't done bad himself, completing 71 percent of his passes for 1,310 yard with 13 TDs and only five picks.
Key has put up some ridiculous stats himself, completing 76.5 percent of his throws for 2,374 yards with 27 touchdowns and eight interceptions.
If we're going to talk stats, this is where Lewis and Victory Christian's Keats Calhoon come in.
After a rough start to the season, Lewis and the Irish are on track, thanks in good part to Lewis' feet. He has rushed for over 700 yards and 12 touchdowns the last two weeks alone.
And Calhoon, only a sophomore, surpassed the 3,000-yard mark with his passing performance last Friday, to go with 34 touchdowns and just six interceptions.
If you're looking for another talented QB to watch this week, here are a few more: Lawton MacArthur's Will Collins, Shawnee's John Jacobs, Locust Grove's Mason Fine, Jones' Clayton Sims, Westmoore's Bryson Lee, Heritage Hall's Connor McGinnis, Christian Heritage's Colton Lindsey and Douglass' Patrick McKaufman.
That's hardly a comprehensive list, but at least we know that while the Year of the Quarterback might have taken a few bumps and bruises, it's still alive and well.