Column: Record-setting season a nice consolation prize for Pasco's Guy

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Wed. December 14, 2011 | John C. Cotey | Email

Column: Record-setting season a nice consolation prize for Pasco's Guy

It was one of the county’s most impressive single-season records, held by one of the county’s most revered players. And today, after the most brilliant of seasons, it belongs to Jacob Guy.

The Pasco High senior, who ended his career with a flourish thanks to some fabulous playoff performances, ended 2011 on a record-setting note, establishing the county single-season records for touchdowns (42) and passing yards (2,672).

You wouldn’t know it from talking to him. He never mentioned the records. Not once.

Even after former record holder and Land O’Lakes legend Drew Weatherford called to congratulate him on the inevitable before the region final win over Jesuit, Guy never muttered a peep.

But once he got the record, Guy talked about it.

He gave credit to his wide receivers, past (Mike Clower and Hakeeme Ishmar) and present (Trey Dudley-Giles and Janarion Grant), rattling off a half-dozen names.

He gave credit to offensive coordinator Brad Starling, for the play calling.

He gave credit to coach Tom McHugh, for the faith.

The only guy he never mentioned was himself.

• • •

The heretofore unchallenged record, set in 2003, was lost in the hoopla of last week’s crazy finish in the season-ending, still-stinging triple-overtime loss to Crawfordville Wakulla.

But it was during that game — a Class 5A state semifinal and Guy’s prep coup de grace — that he set Pasco County’s new passing standards.

“It was pretty cool to do it in that game,” Guy said. “I just wish we had one more game to add to it.”

He entered the Class 5A state semifinal with 37 touchdown passes, tied with Weatherford. He needed 193 yards to equal Weatherford’s yardage mark.

He eclipsed both easily and almost effortlessly, his overall performance leaving the accomplishment as a mere side note.

With his team unable to run the ball (the Pirates finished with minus-34 yards rushing) and Guy throwing on every …single …down, the Pirate gunslinger completed 28 of 39 passes for 371 yards and five touchdowns, all season highs, rallying his team from 21-7 down and into overtime.

“He showed what he was made of,” McHugh said. “Throughout the time Jacob was at Pasco, it seemed like whenever he was in a big game or against another comparable quarterback, he always seemed to rise up and have his best games.”

And often, he did that hurt.

McHugh revealed this week that Guy had a badly strained rotator cuff, suffered while making a tackle Oct. 28 against Ridgewood.

The big 6-foot-5, 190-pounder threw one more pass in that game. He couldn’t lift his right arm the next day. And he nearly missed the next game against county rival Zephyrhills.

“It hurt pretty bad against Zephyrhills, but I couldn’t miss that one,” said Guy, who completed 13 of 15 passes that game, but for only 132 yards. “I was a little worried at first. But we were pretty lucky we had a bye week (before the playoffs). It was there against Santa Fe, and still hurt against North Marion. When we got to Jesuit is when it started feeling better.”

Lucky Jesuit: Guy was 17-for-18 for 211 yards.

• • •

Guy finished his Pasco career with nearly 5,000 yards passing and 70 touchdowns. He was 24-2 as a starter, including 4-2 in the playoffs. He won two district titles, and head-to-head outdueled more heralded quarterbacks like Land O’Lakes Stevie Weatherford (younger brother of Drew) and Jesuit’s Tommy Eveld, and he dominated a state semifinal.

“It was the best game we had all season; we loved it,” Guy said. “They just wouldn’t let us run the ball so we threw it. I think I averaged like 14 passes a game this season. …It was really fun for me.”

Then, with a chuckle, Guy said, “I wish we could have done that every game.”

That Guy used the best game of his career in the biggest game of his career to set the record that ultimately will define him is no surprise to his coaches or teammates.

That was Guy.

Everything about him was big.

John C. Cotey can be reached at cotey@tampabay.com

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