by Cliff Mehrtens

DAVIDSON – Will Grier attacked opposing defenses and the record book with ferocity this season. He piled up yards, touchdowns, a championship and a host of honors.

And, perhaps the least impressed with the staggering statistics? Grier.

Davidson Day’s junior quarterback, who led the nation in passing yards and touchdown passes, is the Herald Weekly’s Football Offensive Player of the Year.

“I’m not a stats guy,” Grier said. “I have amazing support. My offensive line. My receivers. All my teammates. I couldn’t have done it without them. My numbers are not an individual effort. They might look good, but it’s definitely a team effort.”

Grier led the Patriots (11-2) to the N.C. Independent Schools Athletic Association Division II state championship. He passed for state-record totals of 5,785 yards and 69 touchdowns, with just six interceptions, completing 324-of-414 passes (78 percent).

What his arm didn’t do, his legs did as he rushed for team-leading 813 yards and eight touchdowns on 95 carries. He ran for six two-point conversions and threw for 11.

The pinnacle of Grier’s season was a 54-38 victory against Arden Christ School in the state final. He passed for 315 yards and four touchdowns, and ran for a score.

“I think he is the best high school quarterback I’ve ever faced as a coach,” said Larry McNulty, Charlotte Latin’s coach since 1985. “He’s a very, very, very good high school player and a quality young man. That whole program revolves around Will Grier.”

It was Davidson Day’s second championship in its two varsity seasons.

Individually, Grier landed in the national spotlight a week earlier when he set national records of 837 passing yards and 10 touchdowns in a 104-80 victory against Harrells Christian in the state semifinal.

From the beginning of the season, Grier posted huge passing games. Twice he threw for eight touchdowns in a game. He had a seven-touchdown game and two six-touchdown games.

Four times, he surpassed 400 passing yards. Twice, he topped 500 yards.

Three Davidson Day receivers – Aaron Seward, Evan Gates and Jordan Young – had more than 1,000 receiving yards.

More important, Grier said, was winning a state title.

“We put it together,” he said. “Our mission from the beginning was to do whatever it took to win the championship. Stats don’t matter. This was a team effort. I couldn’t be prouder of my teammates. Two (championships) in two years is amazing.”

He was named the Gatorade N.C. Football Player of the Year. He was the first quarterback invited to play in the prestigious 2014 U.S. Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio, Texas. He was invited to the 58th annual Touchdown Club of Columbus (Ohio) banquet where he will receive the President’s Award on Feb. 9.

Grier capped the epic season by committing to the University of Florida two weeks ago.