Aaron Murray. Stephen Garcia. Robert Marve.
As far as quarterbacks go in Tampa Bay, these guys are the prolific measuring sticks by which all other quarterbacks are judged.
This season, Jefferson’s Quentin Williams could topple them all.
Following another 300-yard, four-touchdown performance Friday night, Williams is closing in on a number of impressive records.
And he’s not the only one looking to rewrite the county record book.
In Pasco County, Land O’Lakes standout Stevie Weatherford could set most of the county passing records.
The only thing that could stop either one of these guys?
Each other, eventually.
Jefferson coach Mike Fenton calls it a Catch-22.
He admits he’d like to see Williams smash Murray’s, Marve’s and Garcia’s records, but too often this season the Dragons have been so prolific that he says sportsmanship has trumped superfluous.
In a 62-7 win over Osceola, Williams had five touchdown passes by halftime, but Fenton says he was pulled after that.
He did play the entire game Friday, a 50-14 rout of Lakewood.
“I don’t know if there’s an unwritten rule as to when is the right time to pull a kid,” Fenton said.
In the past, Williams has expressed little interest in records. He has claimed all along that his No. 1 goal is winning a state championship.
If Williams can carry his Dragons (6-0) that far, it will mean five extra games, and the records will be his anyway.
After last week’s win, Williams has:
• 25 touchdown passes (Murray’s single-season mark is 51)
• 1,844 yards (Marve’s single-season record is 4,343)
• 66 career touchdown passes (Murray’s record is 84)
• 6,664 passing yards (Garcia’s record is 8,018)
“Sure, we’ll (try to get him the record) if it’s reachable,” Fenton said. “That’s something the kid will take with him the rest of his life. I don’t want to cheat Quentin out of that.”
Weatherford isn’t just chasing history.
He’s chasing a county record.
He’s chasing a school record.
He’s chasing his brother.
Though the No. 1 goal for Land O’Lakes’ soon-to-be record-setting quarterback is winning a state championship, he seems almost assured of breaking his brother Drew’s Pasco County and school record of 79 touchdown passes in a career, and the former FSU quarterback’s record of 7,657 passing yards isn’t safe either. Little brother, a USF commit, is at 5,245 yards for his career with 64 TDs.
Two weeks ago, Weatherford threw six touchdowns in a rout that sent him to the bench midway through the third quarter.
Last week, five more, though a running clock at halftime limited him to only 11 passes before he went to the bench.
“We have a thing, and it’s 31/2 quarters; we feel like sportsmanship is 31/2 quarters and usually people understand,” said Land O’Lakes coach Matt Kitchie. “We want to give them a chance to come out at halftime and execute our adjustments.”
Land O’Lakes, which is 5-0, has played an easy schedule, though it gets much tougher in the second half.
Talking about individual records often makes coaches a little uneasy. But Kitchie says there is no questioning whether the kids think and talk about it.
“He wants the records,” Kitchie said. “I want to see him get the record. On the other side, we have bigger goals.”
Neither Williams nor Weatherford is chasing anything at the expense of team success. If both play well, their teams will win. If their teams play well, they will get postseason games and more chances.
But there is a strong possibility that Williams or Weatherford could end the other’s grab for history.
If both teams make the playoffs as expected, they could meet in the first round, and if not, the second.
Only one, however, can move on to the third.