Quarterbacks at the 8-man level operate with an almost unfair advantage. If no one is open, they can easily take off and run for a couple yards.
But Valley’s Ben Taylor wanted more than a couple yards. He wanted to attack downfield and go for the throat. And Valley turned his ruthless drive loose.
“It kind of always depends on what the game demanded,” Valley coach Brian Ayers said. “If it meant pulling it on a read play or keeping it on a pass-option play, that’s what he’d do. But he definitely liked to push the ball.”
The 5-foot-8, 170-pound senior shredded defenses with his arm, leading Valley of Hazelton to an undefeated season and the 1A Division I title. He completed 60.1 percent of his passes for 2,845 yards with 51 TDs and two interceptions despite playing past halftime just twice in the regular season.
With complete trust from Ayers, Valley only punted three times the past two years. Ayers said the Vikings even went for it on 4th-and-26 from their own 6-yard line this fall against Hagerman.
“With him back there, we were never afraid to go for it,” Ayers said.
A 94-yard touchdown pass.
51Touchdown passes Taylor threw for Valley with only two interceptions
WHAT COACHES ARE SAYING
“I threw some stuff at him I’ve never seen at the 8-man level, and that kid read it. It stopped them one time, and he knew right what we were doing. The next time, he audibled and they scored an 80-yard touchdown.” — Kade Craner, Oakley
OFF THE FIELD
Taylor has qualified for the state golf tournament the previous three years, finishing sixth as a freshman and junior and third as a sophomore. His favorite place to play is the Twin Falls Golf Club, where his grandparents first took him as a 10-year-old.
Taylor isn’t sure where he wants to go to college. But he wants to remain in the surrounding states and study sports medicine.