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Athens player runs down the sideline
Joey Moore sprints down the sideline

Player of the Year Film Watch: Joey Moore

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Athens’ quarterback, Joey Moore, is well on his way to leaving an enduring legacy in The Plains. As the regular season came to a close, Moore found himself tops in the state for D-III QB rushing yards, and second in passing yards. Few are in the same class as Moore when it comes to slinging the rock, and even fewer when you factor in his running ability as well. And, perhaps most impressively of all, he’s only a junior.

Despite earning a share of the TVC-Ohio conference title, his Bulldogs missed the playoffs this season. The good news for Moore is that he has another shot to make a run next year. While we wait, though, let’s take a look at how Moore piled up the yardage and dominated the opposition this year.

  • 169/270 (63% Completion) 2,401 Passing Yards, 24 Passing TDs, 160 Carries, 760 Rushing Yards, 11 Rushing TDs

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Corner Pocket

We take a lot of throws quarterbacks make for granted. But the timing, precision, and arm talent that spread offenses ask of their quarterbacks is not something that can be easily acquired. Moore puts balls in spots where only his receiver can get in, like in this clip against the Alexander Spartans on a 10-yard out to Brayden Markins. The ball is just out of reach of the corner, and Markins is able to turn and run after the catch for additional yardage. This play was on third down; a situation where Athens ran a lot of quick-outs because they were confident Moore would deliver and move the sticks.

This clip, also against Alexander, came courtesy of a great play action fake that the defense bit on. In that confusion, Moore delivered on a crossing route to Braeden Halbert out of a bunch set. The defense lost track of him, but Moore still needed to make the throw. He had to put some heat on it and deliver the ball before the defense could recover, but he also had to put enough touch on it to get it over the linebacker. Moore’s throw does just that, and Halbert strolls in for a touchdown.

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Bazooka Joe

Joey Moore’s deep balls look effortless; a quick turn of the hips, a flick of the wrist, and Moore can bomb away. It helps to have an über-talented receiver like Nate Trainer catching those deep balls too. This throw, an over 40-yard strike against the Vinton County Vikings, showed that he maintains his accuracy even when he goes long. The ball falls right between the corner and the safety, and puts Trainer right in front of the pylon for a near-touchdown. Moore followed this throw up with a corner-fade to Halbert for a touchdown.

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Know When to Walk Away, Know When to Run

There’s a fine line quarterbacks have to walk when it comes to being in the pocket. You can’t be antsy and sense pressure that isn’t there, but you also have to know when to bail out and take off. Moore’s natural instincts allow him to sense when it’s time to go, and his athleticism allows him to turn that into big gains. This clip against Vinton County sees Moore go through his progressions, sense the pressure, and get going. And with his speed, defenders are hard-pressed to catch him.

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Rabbit Out of a Hat

Even when rushers get their hands on Moore, he often finds ways to get out of what seemed to be a hopeless situation. Moore refuses to let plays die, staying on his feet and using a little razzle-dazzle to turn sacks into gains, like he does here against the Vikings.

This clip is a reminder that sometimes, the high-step has a strategic use. Three separate Vinton County defenders get their hands on Athens’ junior QB, but none take him down.

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Straight-line Speed

You don’t rack up 760 rushing yards unless you can outrun the opponent, and when it comes to a foot-race, Moore can turn on the jets. In this game against the Vinton County Vikings, he stays one step ahead of every defender that tries to get an angle on him, and bursts through the last line of defense for a touchdown. There’s quick-twitch change of movement in this clip too, as Moore makes a slight cut at the line of scrimmage to freeze a Viking before taking off.

Run or pass, Moore is a nightmare to deal with.

Gridiron Glory’s Player of the Year race has officially kicked off, and we need your votes to decide who will take home the trophy! Voting is open now- https://bit.ly/2JWOpzM