Land O’Lakes quarterback Stevie Weatherford will never take away the title of Pasco County’s Best Ever from big brother Drew.
But he may just take everything else.
Entering his final season — the Weatherford family’s final season — Stevie is within range of two notable records that may go unbroken if he doesn’t do it himself.
Stevie has 3,954 career passing yards; Drew finished with 7,657.
Stevie has 44 touchdowns; Drew finished with 79.
The touchdown record is the easy one for little brother to set. I don’t think 36 touchdown passes are out of the question in this offense.
But throwing for 3,704 yards, or an average of 370 yards a game?
Here’s five reasons it isn’t:
1. The Gators haven’t been able to establish a running game. So stop the Gator rushing attack at your own peril.
2. Headed up by favorite target Will Irwin and Jason Tello, Weatherford has a ridiculously talented group of wide receivers to throw to deep and short.
3. Coach Matt Kitchie isn’t afraid to put up big numbers, and having a coach like that (see Weiner, Robert) is crucial to posting monumental stats (see Murray, Aaron).
4. Have you seen the Gators’ schedule? If they decide to air it out, I count at least six teams Stevie can hang 370 yards or more on. I see two 300-yard games, and two 250-yard games. That will leave him short, so he’ll have to steer the Gators to a playoff victory or two. Drew had the benefit of playing in eight postseason games, compared to three so far for Stevie.
5. If you take the two quarters of spring game action against Wiregrass Ranch, and the two from last week’s classic against a good East Lake team, Weatherford threw for a combined 568 yards and nine touchdowns in what amounts to one game.
No matter how convincing the case I make, I’d still bet against Stevie breaking Drew’s yardage record, but not a dime more than the loose change in my pocket.
It would be a bet I wouldn’t mind losing.
MATCHUP OF THE WEEK: Wesley Chapel coach Ben Alford, a just-turned 26-year-old who’s never even been a coordinator, matches wits with highly-regarded quarterback guru John Davis, who has guided Clearwater Central Catholic and Countryside to the playoffs 13 of the past 14 seasons, including last season’s 11-2 campaign for the Cougars.