THE 837 GAME
Will Grier is not a stat hound. He wants to win. Davidson Day has won two consecutive NCISAA state titles and is eyeing a third this season.
“I hate to keep stats,” Will Grier says matter-of-factly. “Other than wins and losses.”
On Nov. 9, 2012, everyone became interested in Davidson Day stats.
Former Charlotte Independence quarterback Chris Leak held the state record for passing yards in a game with 585. Davidson Day assistant OC and receivers coach Jason Smith was well aware of that. And he also wanted Grier to break that record.
He watched games from the press box and at halftime met with the team. He had a loose idea of Grier’s yardage at halftime of each game and often shared it with the quarterback. Even if Grier was close to the mark, it rarely mattered because most of Davidson Day’s games were blowouts and Grier saw little time in the second half.
Until this night. With a trip to the state title game on the line, Davidson Day vs. Harrells Christian quickly became a shootout.
“We needed a game where we’re going back and forth,” Smith said of Grier’s chance at topping Leak’s mark. “All of a sudden this perfect storm happened against Harrells Christian. They keep scoring. So we had to keep it up. It was basketball on turf.”
Smith told Grier at halftime that he thought he might already have the record. Davidson Day had 56 points and over 500 yards of offense.
“He kind of looked at me when I told him,” Smith recalls. “You have to know Will, too. In the middle of the game, he’s got these moments where he hears you and then he’s sort of like a great white shark out there. He’s such a great competitor.”
When it was over, Davidson Day won 104-80 and Grier threw for 837 yards.
“It was a normal game to me, but going over the film, it was a track meet. Back and forth, back and forth,” Grier says. “Our guys were having fun, running all over the field. I probably threw five screens for touchdowns. It was a lot of fun. It was crazy. That’s something—I don’t ever see that happening again—it was like a freak accident game. But it was definitely a lot of fun to be a part of.”
Ken Bradley @KenBradleyNC an excerpt from The Sporting News 11/2013