Yes, Sam Metcalf, this is real life.
The stats produced by Farmersville’s junior quarterback only look like they come from a video game. The stage set for next Friday night only feels like a dream.
After passing for five more touchdowns during Friday’s 50-8 rout of Laton, Metcalf needs only one more to tie the Central Section record of 50 set by Tulare Union’s Emmanuel Lewis in 2005. The victory also puts No. 1 seeded Farmersville one win away from a Division VI Valley championship.
“It was weird. It didn’t feel real,” Metcalf said of the moment when he first found out how close he was to the record. “We’ve got to keep going as a team. That’s it.”
Metcalf didn’t notice the record until his teammates pointed it out and started counting down to it with every passing score he threw. The team also has its sights set on that Valley title after losing 34-21 to Mendota in last year’s final. Both the record and the championship are up for grabs in the same game when the Aztecs host No. 2 Strathmore at 7 p.m. next Friday.
Pinch yourself, young man. This is as real as it gets.
“It would mean everything to me,” Metcalf said when asked what winning a Valley title and setting the section record all in one night would mean to him. “It feels great to go back [to the Valley championship] again. This time we’re going to bring it home.”
Metcalf entered Friday’s Division VI semifinal against No. 5 Laton with 44 passing touchdowns on the season. He eventually finished the night with 49, one score — one yard, as it turned out — shy of the record.
Farmersville forced a 3-and-out on Laton’s opening possession, setting up an 80-yard punt return for a touchdown by Joseph De La Cruz. Metcalf then connected with Greg Torres on a 52-yard bomb during the Aztec’s first drive, but the play ended one yard shy of the end zone.
Anthony Azevedo ran it in from there and De La Cruz passed to Andrew Williamson for a 2-point conversion that put Farmersville up 14-0.
Metcalf finally tallied his first TD of the night on Farmersville’s second drive with a 24-yard strike to Jose Solis. Those that connection went onto to produce two more scores as Solis finished the game with eight catches for 66 yards and three touchdowns. De La Cruz only caught two passes, but led the team in receiving with 81 yards. Metcalf himself checked out with 236 passing yards while completing 15 of his 23 throws.
“[Metcalf] is just a great young man,” Farmersville coach David Lewis said. “He wants to win. He’s hungry for it. He wants to get his numbers, but at the same time he wants to get other people their numbers and he wants to be able to put points on the board however we can do it. He’s becoming a complete quarterback. He’s not done. We’ve only seen the tip of what he’s capable of doing.”
One way the Aztecs found to get everyone their numbers is a signature play for both their title run and Metcalf’s record chase. A player lined up on the outside will come around into the back field on a “jet sweep,” passing right in front of Metcalf in shotgun formation. Metcalf then gently tosses the ball forward, allowing the player to grab it and take off running.
The connection is only slightly longer than a handoff and works like a running play, but it counts as a pass.
Farmersville made it five consecutive scoring possessions in a row as Metcalf threw two more touchdowns, one a 36-yard connection with De La Cruz. The other? A 43-yard jet sweep to Jose Cisneros.
That play also came in handy in the third quarter when Farmersville ran it three downs in a row from inside the 10-yard line. The third time was a charm as Solis snuck in on a 1-yard run — after he caught Metcalf’s pass, of course.
“Cheap yards, cheap touchdowns,” Metcalf said. “Hey, we’ll take it.”
Lewis said Farmersville used to hand the ball off on jet sweeps, but began tossing the ball this year because of fumbling issues on the play last season.
A 5-yard touchdown pass to Solis with 55 seconds before halftime gave the Aztecs six touchdowns on seven first-half possessions. Joel Tapia added a 25-yard field goal in the third quarter to put Farmersville up 50-0, giving the Aztecs scores on their first two of only three second half drives.
Azevedo led Farmersville in rushing with 97 yards on 18 carries.
Laton scored its only touchdown of the game on a 27-yard run by Manuel Cruz, who finished the night with 33 carries for 145 yards.
The Aztecs will again have to prepare for a strong running attack with a date against Strathmore for the Valley championship. Lewis, however, said his team will be more focused on itself.
“It’s awesome,” Lewis said of returning to the championship game. “The kids have been hungry for it. Last year we made it but we felt like we left things unfinished there.
“There’s really no words for it. It would be a fantastic thing for this school, this community and these young men. We’ve just to take things very seriously and go out and finish it.
“We’ve got to come out and do what we do. If we do what we do and take care of ourselves then everything else comes through Farmersville.”