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Football Player of the Week: Flowery Branch's Kanler Coker

Tied school record with 7 touchdowns in a game

POSTED: October 24, 2011 9:18 p.m.

First and foremost, Flowery Branch senior quarterback Kanler Coker says his job is to move the chains when he gets under center.

He did plenty of that, and much more, for the third-ranked Falcons (8-0, 8-0 Region 8-AAAA) in last Friday's 49-21 win against Loganville.

Coker finished with 215 passing yards and three touchdowns, and 110 rushing yards with another four touchdowns.

He tied the school record of seven touchdowns in a single game with 2010 graduate Connor Shaw, now the starting quarterback at the University of South Carolina.

"I'd rather be throwing it because we have some great receivers," Coker said. "But some times I know I need to take off and run with it."

For his efforts, Coker is The Times Football Player of the Week. He was also the Player of the Week during Week 7 after throwing for five touchdowns and running for another in a win against Habersham Central.

Against Loganville, Coker scored on touchdown runs of 32, 10, 5 and 4 yards. All three of his touchdown passes went to senior C.J. Curry (44, 23 and 38 yards).

Flowery Branch made the most of its opportunities with touchdowns in seven of its nine offensive drives, according to Coker.

"Coach Shaw told me about having seven touchdowns, and he said ‘that's big time,'" Coker said.

Coker was told Monday by Falcons coach Lee Shaw, Connor's father, about equaling the school record for touchdowns.

He said his initial response was a big smile, knowing that it was a total team effort to accomplish such an impressive total.

Coach Shaw said that Coker has emerged as a leader in his first season as Flowery Branch's quarterback with his confidence and poise in the pocket.

According to the Falcons quarterback, who says he's already got an offer on the table from Virginia Military Institute, confidence is key in the Flowery Branch spread-option offense.

It's often up to the quarterback to make the right calls and checks at the line of scrimmage.

"I know the decision I make with the ball has to be the right one," Coker said.

For the season, Coker is one of the area's most proficient passers, completing 64 percent of his throws for 1,812 yards and 20 touchdowns with only two interceptions.

Coker is also Flowery Branch's second-leading rusher with 412 yards and 10 touchdowns.

"Kanler has become a dual-threat quarterback that gives opponents difficulty stopping our offense," Shaw said. "I'm very proud of his leadership on the field."

While appreciative of individual accolades, Coker is most focused on the team goals, as this year's Flowery Branch team can be the first to capture a region championship in school history.

All it needs to do is win its last two regular season games against Salem (5-4, 4-4) on Friday in Flowery Branch, then against 2010 region champion Clarke Central (7-1, 7-1) on Nov. 4 in Athens.

"Everyone on this team wants to win the region title and go after the state title," Coker said.

 



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