Grier’s opening act produced staggering results
by Staff Writer
by Cliff Mehrtens
It would be satisfying for a quarterback to be considered top-notch as a passer, runner, leader or champion.
Davidson Day’s Will Grier accomplished all four in his first season as a varsity quarterback. Grier’s statistics were staggering, and the cornerstone of a Patriots program that belied its first-year status.
Grier, a sophomore, accounted for nearly 5,000 yards and 60 touchdowns, and led Davidson Day to the N.C. Independent Schools Athletic Association Division III championship.
He is the Carolina Weekly Newspaper Group’s Lake Norman-area Football Offensive Player of the Year.
Grier completed 250 of 398 passes (63 percent) for 3,785 yards and 49 touchdowns. No quarterback in North Carolina had more passing scores than Grier, and he was second in passing yardage.
Grier also ran 97 times for 925 yards and 11 touchdowns, averaging 9.5 yards per carry. He ran for seven two-point conversions, and passed for four others.
Davidson Day, which played all its games on the road because its home field didn’t have lights, won the first eight. Grier directed an offense that routinely scored more than 40 points.
“I prepared myself for success going in, so I expected it,” Grier said. “Numbers are numbers, but overall I think I led my team, led by example, motivated and encouraged them to have the kind of season we did.
“Numbers don’t really matter. I think my interceptions (nine) were too high. Touchdown passes and yards, that’s not all me. It takes 11 guys to do it.”
Davidson Day’s offense, and Grier, opened the season spectacularly and barely let up. He passed for five touchdowns and 314 yards in a 61-29 victory at Harrells Christian in the school’s first varsity game.
Grier had four different games with six touchdown passes, and two games with five scoring throws.
“I feel like mentally I got better as the year went on, going through my reads and trusting my guys,” Grier said. “We bonded, and got better as the season went on.”
Davidson Day capped the storybook season with a 41-26 victory against Fayetteville Trinity Christian in the NCISAA championship.
“There’s nothing like that last knee (final play) in the championship game,” Grier said. “You can’t re-enact that. It was all about the guys, and how happy we were that we’d finally done it.”
Despite the gaudy passing numbers, Grier proved to be a running threat when forced to scramble or by design. A 925-yard rushing season is solid for any running back.
“Most people get confused with quarterbacks,” Grier said. “They think we’re unathletic and just sit back there and throw. When things break down (in the pocket), I don’t freak out and take the sack. I’m thinking ‘I have to make something out of this, and get as many yards as I can.’”