A little improvisation and a nice throw from a scrambling quarterback, a big block from a downfield running back and the lightning speed and big-play potency of a superstar wide receiver.
That was the formula for James Quick’s 75-yard, highlight-reel touchdown reception that gave Trinity High School a second-quarter lead it wouldn’t relinquish in a 34-7 victory over rival St. Xavier on Friday night at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium.
The play, in which Quick sprinted about 55 yards and dodged tacklers after catching a pass from Travis Wright, swung momentum after a St. X touchdown run by Austin Davis had given the Tigers a 7-6 lead with 6:03 to play in the first half.
One minute, 37 seconds later, the top-ranked Shamrocks (6-0) were up 13-7, and they piled on from there.
The senior Quick, aptly named for the blazing speed that’s made him a Mr. Football front-runner and highly coveted college prospect, saw Wright change directions and run right once the play broke down. Quick crossed the field, catching the ball near the right sideline about midfield.
Trinity running back Dalyn Dawkins, who was running a vertical route down that side, delivered a key block, and Quick did the rest, streaking past defenders down the sideline.
Quick said he saw about four Tigers defenders around him after he caught the pass. So did he think he’d be able to score when he caught the ball?
“I think every time I get the ball I can go all the way,” said Quick, who credited Dawkins for the block in which “he absolutely crushed a guy.”
Quick finished the game with eight receptions for 144 yards and has 51 catches for 862 yards and eight TDs this season.
“You can bottle him up three times, and on that fourth time, he’ll take it to the house,” Trinity coach Bob Beatty said.
Quick, a senior considered among the nation’s best wide receivers, has had plenty of big plays during his time with the Shamrocks, who have won 31 straight games, including five in a row over St. X.
But he said this ranks among the very best.
“It was probably the most I’ve had to actually had to run for a touchdown because usually we’re right there in the zone when I get the ball,” he said. “It could be my best touchdown, but we’re not done yet.”
Wright ranked Friday night’s TD as the second-best Quick has had, behind another one in which he ran a great deal — the 95-yard, bubble-screen, change-of-field dazzler against Male in the 2010 state title game.
“I’ve been watching (Quick’s highlights) since freshman year — well, really since sixth grade,” Wright said. “It’s always special every time; it’s great to watch him do his things and the moves he does and get in the end zone.”
St. X coach Mike Glaser said Quick’s TD springboarded the Rocks’ offense.
“James Quick is somebody to contend with,” Glaser said. “He’s tough to defend.”