Thursday, December 15, 2011

Top Sunflower League Quarterbacks since 2000

Derek Miller
*Disclaimer: No current Sunflower League players were eligible in the selection process.

1. Derek Miller, Olathe East, 2003-2005

Miller is kind of like the Dan Marino of the Sunflower League of the past 11 seasons.  He was an absolutely phenomenal quarterback--in my opinion the best--yet his inability to ever win a title did, in some ways, tarnish his legacy just a bit.  He went 31-4 in three years as a starter, with three of the losses coming in the playoffs.  No quarterback has won more than 21 games since 2000, and the only player currently in scope is Olathe South's Frankie Seurer who has 19.

2. Travis Jackson, Olathe South, 1998-2000

In 1999 Jackson threw for 2,685 yards and 17 touchdowns in leading Olathe South to their first ever state championship game.  Had it not been for mononucleosis he likely would have had an even better senior season, but the illness took its toll and he didn't complete the season.  He still passed for 1,220 yards and 16 touchdowns in 2000, however.

3. Camren Torneden, Lawrence Free State, 2006-2008

The "Tornedo" inherited the reins at the quarterback position as a junior and didn't let go, leading Free State to unprecedented levels.  He led the Firebirds to a 9-4 record and a state championship berth in 2008, and he followed it up by leading the team to an 8-3 Sectional Round berth in 2010.  In his two years as the starter he passed for 2,404 yards and 23 touchdowns, and rushed for 2,297 yards and 24 touchdowns.

4. Mack Brown, SM North, 2002-2004

SM North was running the spread back in early 2000s, but people just didn't know to call it that yet.  Brown, playing under his dad Sam Brown, passed for 2,100 yards and 22 touchdowns as a junior, then nearly matched those numbers as a senior, in the process earning offers from Colorado and Ole Miss.

Alex Carder
5. Alex Carder, SM Northwest, 2005-2007

We still haven't figured out if Carder was arrogant, cocky or just downright oblivious to all social cues, but on the field he was a heck of a quarterback for the Cougars--and there's a very solid chance he'll be selected in the 2013 NFL Draft.  In his career he completed a hair under 50% of his passes for 3,457 yards and 22 touchdowns.  He also added 524 yards and eight touchdowns on the ground in that time span.

6. John Martin, SM North, 1999-2001

I don't have the official stats, but Martin passed for over 4,000 yards and 40 touchdowns in his career at SM North.  The passing combination of Martin to his top two receiving targets, Nathan Winslow and Brooks Faddis, proved lethal.  As a senior in 2001 he led the Indians to a Sub-State appearance.

7. Blake Lawrence, SM West, 2004-2006

Lawrence only started at quarterback for one year at SM West, but he did well enough in the time period to earn an offer from Missouri to play quarterback.  During the 2006 season he passed for 1,346 yards and 15 touchdowns, in addition to rushing for 483 yards and 16 touchdowns.

8. Ryan Murphy, Lawrence Free State, 2004-2006

Murphy began the pipeline we now know as the Free State quarterback position, and for that he deserves at least some mention on this list.  He had a 15-7 record as a starter, accumulating 3,518 passing yards, 1,710 rushing yards, and 50 combined touchdowns in his two years as the starting quarterback.

9. John Schrock, SM East, 2008-2010

Schrock didn't earn the starter title until his senior year, but he took full advantage of the opportunity once it presented itself.  As a senior he helped lead the Lancers to their winningest season ever at eight wins by passing for 1,634 yards and combining for 25 touchdowns.  He was Colorado's third-string quarterback as a true freshman this past year.

10. Dustin Moomau, Olathe North, 2002-2004

September 2004: Moomau keeps the ball on a veer-option play and bolts through a hole in the middle of the opposing defense.  He trucks the safety, but gets tripped up when his cleat gets caught in the facemask of this safety as he attempts to literally run him over.  I've been told that Moomau stood up and asked the player "what's it like catching a cannon ball?"  Most of us will never know, but in his one season as a starter he was like a cannon ball for defenses, passing for 1,007 yards and nine touchdowns, and rushing for 1,273 yards and 21 touchdowns in leading Olathe North to a 12-1 record.


EagleSenior said...

This may be a little biased, but I feel the Moomau deserves a slightly better ranking than that. However, I can see why he is #10 since he didn't exactly make an impact throwing the ball.

Anonymous said...

Well eaglesophomore, after looking at Eli's "All Decade" team, its tough for me to imagine he knows actually who the best players have been. Only players in correct spot on this list are Miller, Brown, and Carder. Everything else is jacked up including Moomau even being top 10. He was a defensive player playing qb that could run. Great safety, but not a great QB.

Govannon Grey said...

Well, then both of you have some disagreements. That's great and all, but what are the alternatives? Give me a new list. I think both commenters have bias based on the eras they played in (and the schools they play(ed)) for. Eric, being an ex-South Raider, I'm surprised you guys even know what football is supposed to look like.

Just Kidding man, relax.