Austin Brooks tossed 54 touchdown passes for Oklahoma Christian School this season, but none bigger than the last one in the fourth quarter of the Class 2A state championship game against Davis.
Facing fourth-and-goal from the 5, Brooks was getting pressure in the pocket when he lofted a sidearm pass off his back foot toward the corner of the end zone.
“All of the things we tell him not to do,” OCS coach Derek Turner said.
Saints wide receiver Will McKinnis hadn't made his cut yet, but Brooks had to throw the ball early because of the Davis pass rush.
“I just had to get it up and trust him to get there,” Brooks said. “I threw it way up. All my friends told me later they thought it was over. They thought I threw it out of bounds.”
Turner thought he had thrown it out of bounds, too.
“It just floated out there,” he said.
Instead, it was a perfect pass for the game-winning touchdown in the Saints' 44-41 win and the kind of play Brooks made all season.
Brooks, who led OCS to its first state football championship in the Edmond school's history, is The Oklahoman's Little All-City Offensive Player of the Year.
In addition to his 54 touchdowns, Brooks threw for 3,599 yards and completed 65 percent of his passes in leading the Saints to a 14-1 record, losing only to Class 3A state semifinalist Jones by one point.
During one three-game stretch of the regular season, Brooks threw more touchdown passes in each game than he did incomplete passes.
The 6-foot-4 senior took over as OCS starting quarterback three games into his sophomore season. In the preseason, the Saints expected to be good offensively this year, but Brooks' ability to throw the ball and operate the spread offense with precision turned OCS into a special team in 2012.
“We knew we would be good,” Brooks said. “We knew we would put points up on the board, but the offensive numbers we put up this year were crazy. It was a lot of fun.”
Brooks was aided by a talented stable of receivers and an OCS offensive line that allowed just five quarterback sacks on the season. Turner said what impressed him most about his quarterback this season was Brooks' composure in the pocket.
“As many times as we throw the ball (Brooks was 203 of 301 through the air with 12 interceptions this season), it takes a lot to stand back there and have guys coming at you all the time,” Turner said. “He did a great job. He has a great touch on the ball but he can also rifle it in there.”
OCS coaches knew they wanted Brooks as a quarterback when they first saw him pitch for the Saints' baseball team.
“We had seen him play baseball and we knew what he could do on the mound and how he wants the ball in his hand,” Turner said. “He wants to command the game.”
Brooks now has several small college recruiters talking to him about playing both football and baseball at their schools.
“I am interested in playing both (in college),” Brooks said.